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EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Jordan Farmar was cleared to return from a left hamstring tear Tuesday, giving the Los Angeles Lakers a true point guard when they host the Miami Heat on Christmas Day.
Farmar, who had an ultrasound on his hamstring as a final evaluation before being able to join the team for a light walk-through to prepare for the Heat, had been sidelined since Dec. 1 with the injury, missing 10 games as L.A. went 4-6.
"Finally to get the clearance and just be able to come out there and help the guys out, do anything I can, is what I'm excited about," said Farmar, who will be back in the lineup about a week quicker than his initial injury timetable suggested.
Farmar went out of the lineup at a difficult time for the Lakers, who were already dealing with the absence of point guard Steve Nash (nerve root irritation) and also lost capable ball handlers in Kobe Bryant (left knee fracture) and Steve Blake (right elbow) while he was sidelined.
"I just noticed without somebody taking control there was no really sense of purpose," Farmar said. "So it was kind of random basketball and just out there playing. Now I can go out there and just look for Nick [Young], look for Pau [Gasol], get X [Xavier Henry] going. Just pick my spots and get everybody comfortable doing what they do best."
Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said Farmar's return hopefully will restore some order to a reeling Lakers team that racked up just 23 assists against 35 turnovers in their last two games, blowout losses to the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns.
"Getting Farmar back will help a lot," D'Antoni said. "This will help getting everybody's minutes back on track a little bit. Getting guys back in their right positions. Taking the ballhandling duties off some people. So everybody will naturally get back to their natural position, and it should be good."
Farmar will start at point guard alongside Jodie Meeks, Wesley Johnson, Shawne Williams and Gasol, making up the Lakers' 14th different starting lineup through 29 games this season.
The 27-year-old guard averaged 9.2 points and 4.4 assists in 18.9 minutes per game this season before going down with the hamstring injury. D'Antoni said he will monitor Farmar's playing time against the Heat.
"We're thinking we'll try not to get him tired, so it might be short bursts -- five minutes here, five-minute rest, five minutes in," D'Antoni said. "A little bit of a hockey [strategy]."
Although the Lakers certainly could benefit from Farmar playing major minutes, there is still a risk of reinjury.
"They've been very cautious," Farmar said. "I'm pretty confident that they wouldn't let me out there if it was going to be that high of a risk, but you never know. So I'm staying on top of my rehab and the things I've been doing to try to take the load off the hamstring, and hopefully that will help put this behind us."