MILWAUKEE -- In a rare instance this season of an injury going better than the Los Angeles Lakers expected, guard Jordan Farmar says he plans to have his strained right groin re-evaluated this weekend when the team returns to L.A. The seven-year veteran could be back in the lineup next week if cleared.
Farmar said he suffered the injury at practice March 17 when he warmed up, sat down and signed autographs "for an hour" as part of a team requirement, then played again after his groin had tightened up. He was originally projected to miss a minimum of two weeks.
Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni even hinted Farmar could miss the rest of the regular season and lamented how the 27-year old's return to the franchise that drafted him into the league was derailed by persistent injuries. Thursday's game against the Milwaukee Bucks marked the 35th game Farmar has sat out this season. He has played in 36.
But the L.A. native and UCLA product made the most of those appearances. Farmar is averaging career highs in points (10.4) and 3-point percentage (45.7), while also putting up 4.7 assists and 2.5 rebounds in only 21.9 minutes. His 3-point accuracy is third best in the league this season, behind only Atlanta's Kyle Korver (48.6 percent) and Memphis' Mike Miller (46.2 percent).
"The best thing he does, he can get a shot any time he wants it and he can shoot it," D'Antoni said. "That's his best part of his game and the rest of it is coming on. I thought he defended well. He's smart and there's no reason why he's not a good guard in this league."
Farmar is one of 11 players on the Lakers' 15-man roster set to become a free agent this summer (that number grows to 12 if Nick Young chooses to opt out). He sacrificed more than $3 million of guaranteed money with his team in Turkey, Anadolu Efes, to rejoin the Lakers, whom he left as a free agent in the summer of 2010.
"Obviously, he wants to play in the NBA," D'Antoni said. "I've been the other way and I understand what he's going through. When you can play at home and in the NBA and still make some nice little change, I can understand that too. Sometimes, there's things in life more important than money."