The Lakers announced Monday that reserve guard Jordan Farmar will miss about four weeks after tearing his left hamstring during a 114-108 loss to Portland on Sunday night. If Farmar misses exactly four weeks, he will be sidelined for Los Angeles' next 13 games.
Farmar's injury appeared to occur without contact, as he pulled up lame after chasing a play in transition shortly after checking into the game for the first time. He exited the game with 4:33 remaining in the first quarter -- holding the back of his left leg as he departed for the locker room -- and did not return.
Don't let Farmar's minimum-salary contract or the fact that he played in Turkey last year fool you: He's been a key contributor this season, averaging 9.2 points and 4.4 assists in 18.9 minutes off the bench. The Lakers are 9-9, including 6-4 since losing two-time MVP point guard Steve Nash to injury. Much of the credit goes to the bench, which leads the NBA in scoring, and Farmar, 27, has done well running the second unit. He's shooting 39.3 percent from three-point range, and his plus-8.9 net rating places him among the best-performing Lakers.
Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni is temporarily down to Steve Blake as his only true point guard, at least until Nash returns from a back/nerve injury that has sidelined him for roughly three weeks. ESPNLA.com reported that the 39-year-old Nash is set to return to practice this week but it's unclear when he will be back on the court. The Lakers are also waiting on the return of Kobe Bryant, who could reportedly make his season debut in the near future. D'Antoni will have no choice but to lean heavily on Blake while also turning to Jodie Meeks and Xavier Henry as makeshift ball-handlers as he awaits the returns of Nash and Bryant. The good news: The Lakers will have a few days to sort things out, as they don't play until Friday. They also happen to be entering a fairly soft portion of their schedule, with only two of their next eight games coming against teams that are currently above .500, which should be helpful as they prepare for Bryant's reality-altering return.