Brittney Griner To Miss Two Road Games WIth Mercury To Focus On Mental Health

The nine-time WNBA all-star missed Sunday’s game against the Chicago Sky and will miss Tuesday’s game against Indiana Fever.

Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner will miss at least two games to focus on her mental health.

According to CBS News, Griner missed a game against the Chicago Sky on Sunday (July 30) and is slated to miss Tuesday’s (August 1) game against the Indiana Fever.

In a statement, the Mercury announced Griner’s status and their support for her during this time.

"The Mercury fully supports Brittney and we will continue to work together on a timeline for her return," the team’s statement read.

After being sentenced to nine years in prison for drug-smuggling charges in Russia and being detained for 10 months, Griner announced that she would return to the WNBA for the 2023 season.

Brittney Griner, Phoenix Mercury Partner With Group Advocating For Americans Wrongfully Detained Overseas

While the Mercury and the league embraced her with open arms, she has experienced some off-the-court issues. In June,  Griner and the Mercury were confronted by Alex Stein, a right-wing, social media “provocateur” at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. He kept screaming at her “the Merchant of Death,” which is a nickname for arms dealer Viktor Bout who was released into Russian custody in a prisoner swap for Griner. Eventually, Stein was apprehended by law enforcement at the scene.

Following the airport incident, Griner was granted permission to fly charter for the rest of the season.

In her comeback season, Griner has regained her status as one of the best players in the league but Mercury has had a subpar season posting a 6-17 record. Earlier in the season, Vanessa Nygaard was fired as head coach after a 2-10 start and the team could miss the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

Appearing in 20 games this season, Griner is averaging 18.2 points 6.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.7 blocks per game.

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