October 5, 2013; Ontario, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers point guard Jordan Farmar (1) moves the ball up court against the Golden State Warriors during the second half at Citizens Business Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Cause for Concern? A Look Through Jordan Farmar's Injury History

Player A: 16.4 points, 41 FG%, 43 3P% 4.1 rebounds, 7.9 assists, 1.5 steals, 15.0 PER
Player B: 15.9 points, 46 FG%, 37 3P%, 3.3 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.6 steals, 16.2 PER

While the numbers are relatively close in this comparison, Player A will earn ~$2 million annually over the next two seasons while Player B will earn ~$5 million annually over the next three.

If you’ve been paying attention to free agency, you’ll know that the two players above are Jordan Farmar and Darren Collison. With Collison fetching a high dollar amount, taking his talents to Sacramento in the process, the Clippers moved fast, agreeing to a 2-year deal with the former Lakers point guard in Farmar. But why is one worth much more than the other when the numbers are awfully close?

Injury.

Here is a run down of injuries Farmar has suffered throughout his NBA career.

Pre-2008 – Games Played: 154 outta 164

Traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Shaquille O’Neal trade, Farmar’s career got off to a great start. In his first two NBA seasons, Farmar appeared in a 154 out of 164 games, or 93% of available games, in the role of backup point guard behind Smush Parker (Year 1) and Derek Fisher (Year 2).

2008-2009 – Games Played: 65 outta 82

Here is where the issues began.

Against the Miami Heat in December of 2008, Farmar suffered an injury which later be revealed as a torn meniscus in the left knee. Three days after the injury, Farmar would receive surgery on the knee. Farmar wouldn’t miss much time recovering from surgery, returning a month later on January 25th.

In the 40 games following the surgery, Farmar would average 5.5 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game as backup behind Derek Fisher. Prior to the injury? Farmar averaged 7.9 points on 40 percent shooting (35 percent from three), 2.2 rebounds, and 2.4 assists.

2009-10 – Games Played: 82 outta 82

For the second time in the first four seasons of his career, Farmar played the full 82-game schedule, averaging 9.1 points (43/37/67 shooting splits), 1.6 rebounds, and 1.5 assists behind Derek Fisher. Farmar’s energy off the bench would be key in the Lakers defeating the Boston Celtics en route to back-to-back championships.

While Farmar did little in the ’10 Finals–scored 17 points in the entire seven-game series–he treated the world to a nice dunk over Celtics forward Kevin Garnett, showing the athleticism that made him one of the more intriguing backups in the NBA.

2010-11 – Games Played: 73 outta 82

Another good year for Farmar, this team as a member of the then-New Jersey Nets.

A brief period of back and knee injuries between December 2010 and January 11 caused the point guard to miss a few games, but he stated these injuries were more a fluke than something recurring.

“Hump (Kris Humphries) and I were playing one-on-one, and I just made a move and the whole thing just flared up and just locked up for the rest of the night,” Farmar said on his back. “I never felt anything like that before.”

2011-12 – Games Played: 39 outta 66

Be weary of the above numbers as ’11-12 was the daunted lockout season.

After appearing in 374 of 410 available games, or 91 percent, Farmar’s second season with the Brooklyn Nets was spotty due to back-to-back groin injuries. First hindered by a strained right groin injury, Farmar expected a fast turnaround.

“We decided just to relax, ice it, let it cool back down, hopefully, with some anti-inflammatory medication and let it rest for another day, it won’t be an issue anymore,” Farmar said on the groin injury. “Hopefully, on the plane, it kicks in strong and it feels much better tomorrow.”

Soon after healing from the strained right groin injury, Farmar’s career year (averaged 10.4 points on 46/44/90 splits) would be cut short due to a sore right groin injury.

In the off-season, Farmar would accept his player option with the Nets, only to be traded to Atlanta in the Joe Johnson mega-deal, only to then be bought out before heading overseas.

2013-14 – Games Played: 41 outta 82

In his return to the NBA, Farmar would find himself in the perfect situation–in Los Angeles behind the oft-injured Steve Nash while under the coaching tutelage of Mike D’Antoni.

In the first 17 games, Farmar showed why he belonged in the NBA–averaging 9.7 points on 43 percent shooting (39 percent from three), 3.1 rebounds, and 4.6 assists–but a torn left hamstring forced the combo guard to miss four weeks of play.

Farmar would return on Christmas, but another tear to the same hamstring would occur within a week, again forcing the point guard to miss another four weeks of basketball, joining Steve Nash (back), Kobe Bryant (knee), Steve Blake (elbow), and Xavier Henry (back) on the sideline.

After recovery, Farmar would return to the court and play an excellent stretch of basketball where he averaged 12.3 points (45/54/72 splits), 1.3 rebounds, and 4.4 assists over 13 games. But like the previous two returns, a leg injury (strained right groin suffered in practice) would intercept his season, causing him to miss the next 11 games.

Farmar would return to appear in the Lakers final five games, but he acknowledged what would be the general consensus around him going into the off-season.

“If I didn’t get hurt, this season would’ve been a lot different,” Farmar said. “I had a pretty good season. I just had these annoying injuries.

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