Mercury’s Brittney Griner expected to return after mental health break

Aug 4, 2023, 8:15 PM

Brittney Griner...

Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury listens to the national anthem before the game against the Seattle Storm at Climate Pledge Arena on June 24, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Phoenix Mercury All-Star Brittney Griner is expected to return to the court on Saturday after missing three games to focus on mental health, the team announced.

Griner was left off the injury report ahead of Saturday’s matchup against the Seattle Storm at Footprint Center.

The 6-foot-9 center did not travel with the team during its two-game trip to Chicago and Indiana, but she was in attendance Thursday night when Diana Taurasi eclipsed 10,000 career points in Phoenix.

The Mercury went 1-2 without Griner, winning their home game against the Atlanta Dream behind Taurasi’s 42-point performance.

Griner is Phoenix’s scoring leader, averaging 18.2 points with 6.7 rebounds in 20 games played this season. She returned to play this season following a 10-month detainment in Russia in 2022.

This campaign has had its challenges, as Griner and her teammates were confronted by a “provocateur” at the Dallas airport in June. The league said in a statement it was looking into the team’s run-in with a “social media figure” whose “actions were inappropriate and unfortunate.”

The team has since started flying charter. Griner has also dealt with a hip injury, while Phoenix went through a coaching change from Vanessa Nygaard to Nikki Blue in the midst of a 7-19 season thus far.

Phoenix Mercury


Associated Press

Allisha Gray becomes 1st player to win both 3-point and skills competition at WNBA All-Star

Allisha Gray became the first player in WNBA history to win both the 3-point and skills competition in the same year.

6 hours ago

WNBA Skills Challenge finalists Sophie Cunningham of the Phoenix Mercury and Allisha Gray of the At...

Associated Press

Allisha Gray edges Mercury’s Sophie Cunningham to win WNBA All-Star skills competition

Allisha Gray won the WNBA All-Star skills competition, beating hometown favorite Sophie Cunningham in the finals Friday night.

7 hours ago

Caitlin Clark and Erica Wheeler...

Associated Press

Flight issues cause Erica Wheeler to miss All-Star skills challenge in Phoenix

Indiana's Kelsey Mitchell was a last-minute replacement for her Fever teammate Erica Wheeler in the WNBA All-Star skills challenge.

9 hours ago

Diana Taurasi shows off her fifth gold medal...

Associated Press

Diana Taurasi preparing for Paris Olympics, eyeing 6th gold medal

Phoenix Mercury's Diana Taurasi has been a mainstay on the Olympic women's team since graduating from UConn in 2004.

18 hours ago

Diana Taurasi...

Ryan Pasiecznik

Mercury’s Diana Taurasi ranked 21st on ESPN’s top 100 professional athletes list

Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi came in ranked at No. 21 on ESPN's top 100 professional athletes since 2000 list.

19 hours ago

Phoenix Mercury forward Mikiah Herbert Harrigan (21) fouls Indiana Fever forward Aliyah Boston (7) ...

Associated Press

Phoenix Mercury unveil new practice facility as part of WNBA All-Star festivities

The Phoenix Mercury unveiled their new practice facility as part of All-Star weekend on Thursday. The 58,000-square-foot performance center was designed specifically for the WNBA team.

1 day ago

Mercury’s Brittney Griner expected to return after mental health break