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No 2016 Olympics for rehabbing Jazz guard Dante Exum

Utah Jazz's Dante Exum brings the ball up court during the second half of an NBA summer league basketball game against the Boston Celtics Monday, July 6, 2015, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Utah Jazz's Dante Exum brings the ball up court during the second half of an NBA summer league basketball game against the Boston Celtics Monday, July 6, 2015, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Rick Bowmer, AP

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Jazz fans can relax. Dante Exum won't be injured playing for his national team again this offseason.

Exum and the Utah Jazz announced Saturday night that the 20-year-old point guard will not play for his Australian team this summer as he continues a successful rehab from the knee injury he suffered with the Boomers in a friendly last summer.

Unfortunately for the Aussies and Exum, that means the 6-foot-6 playmaker will not be participating in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The Jazz are very pleased with the progress Exum has made in the months following his knee surgery at the end of last summer.

Though gaining more international experience might've been good for Exum, the decision to remain in Utah to continue working on his fitness and developing his skill set could be considered a prudent move for him and the Jazz.

Skipping out on the Olympics, albeit a tough decision because of personal reasons and national pride, will prevent Exum from being overextended too quickly this summer due to national team duties.

"At this stage the most important thing for me right now is to continue training," Exum said via a press release. "It's been great to be back on the court competing, and I'm really motivated to help the Jazz have a successful season this year. My support and best wishes will be with the Boomers this summer, and I look forward to future opportunities to represent my home country."

Exum was recently given the green light to participate in full-contact basketball activities, and he's progressed from playing one-on-one and three-on-three games to game-like five-on-five scrimmages with fellow Jazz players and others, including BYU alum Tyler Haws.

Exum had surgery last September on his left knee to repair a torn ACL, which he injured on Aug. 4 while trying to make a move in the paint during an Australian exhibition game against Slovenia. That injury kept him sidelined throughout the 2015-16 season.

The Jazz had been very optimistic about the progress Exum made earlier in the offseason after averaging 4.8 points and 2.4 assists as a rookie in 2014-15 after being picked fifth overall in the 2014 draft. Ironically, the Melbourne, Australia, native became just the 10th rookie in Jazz history to appear in all 82 games.

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