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Team expects Brittney Griner to miss next 2 games, focus on her mental health

Mercury Mystics Basketball
Mercury Mystics Basketball
Mercury Mystics Basketball
Posted at 8:05 PM, Jul 29, 2023

PHEONIX (AP) — The Phoenix Mercury say All-Star center Brittney Griner will not travel for the team's next two games so she can focus on her mental health.

The 6-foot-9 center — who became an international story during her 10-month detainment in Russia last year — is averaging 18.2 points and 6.7 rebounds over 20 games this season.

“The Mercury fully support Brittney and we will continue to work together on a timeline for her return,” the team said in a statement on Saturday.

Griner's impressive individual season hasn't translated to success for the Mercury, who have a 6-17 record and fired Vanessa Nygaard earlier in the season.

The Mercury’s tough season and coaching change are among the multiple challenges Griner has faced in her return to the WNBA following her ordeal in Russia on drug-related charges that caused her to miss the entire 2022 season.

Griner and her teammates were confronted by what the WNBA called a “provocateur” at the Dallas airport in June and she’s also dealt with a hip injury that caused her to miss a handful of games.

Griner will miss road games against Chicago on Sunday and Indiana on Tuesday.