Jordan Farmar spent Super Bowl Sunday watching the game in what has become his most familiar position: With one foot in an ice bucket.
Whether the UCLA sophomore, recovering from a sprained left ankle, will be back at his other familiar position of starting point guard Thursday night when the Bruins play Washington State at Pullman remains to be seen. His coach, Ben Howland, says no decision will be made until Thursday.
Both an X-ray and an MRI exam taken after Farmar injured the foot in last Saturday's game against Arizona showed no structural damage. Farmar has been held out of practice since then and has been moving around with a protective walking boot.
When his ankle wasn't shin-deep in ice water.
"It's painful treatment," Howland said. "Sticking your foot in the coldest water possible is not a pleasant thing. It can give you a headache."
This whole season has been one long headache for Farmar in terms of injuries. After suffering a strained groin before the season, Farmar sprained and re-sprained his ankle \o7four \f7times. That was his right ankle.
The left-ankle injury occurred at the start of last Saturday's second half when Farmar leaped high to bat a loose ball to a teammate. When he came down, it was on the foot of another player, causing his ankle to roll.
Play continued for several minutes until Farmar was finally able to come out. But not for long. Farmar wound up playing 16 minutes in the second half, a minute more than he had played in the first half.
"Once I went back into the game, I figured I might as well finish," he said.
Before this season, Farmar said, the only injury he had suffered was a broken right ankle before his sophomore year in high school.
What is particularly frustrating is that, having finally put the aches and pains of his right ankle behind him, Farmar was playing the best basketball of his short career at UCLA in terms of running the offense and playing defense.
"Once I finally got healthy," he said, "I was playing the way I knew I could. I was getting more mobile, in terms of getting by guys and playing defense.
"But God only gives you what you can handle and I feel I have strong character."