Brittney Griner starting in season debut for Mercury vs. Lynx

Jun 7, 2024, 6:27 PM | Updated: 6:39 pm

Brittney Griner...

Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury poses for a portrait during media day at Footprint Center on May 09, 2024 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Phoenix Mercury All-Star center Brittney Griner will start and make her season debut Friday against the Minnesota Lynx.

Griner missed Phoenix’s first 10 games with a fractured toe on her left foot and was initially listed as questionable.

The Mercury (4-6) listed Griner and forward Bec Allen (concussion protocol) as questionable for Friday’s game on Thursday. Griner was back participating in practice on Thursday.

Griner is in her 12th season with the Mercury and led the squad last year with 17.5 points per game after missing the entire 2022 season in Russia. Before the season, she set a goal to win the Defensive Player of the Year for the third time.

Friday will be her first regular season game playing alongside big-ticket offseason acquisitions in point guard Natasha Cloud and leading scorer Kahleah Copper (22.5 points per game).

The Mercury have gone to Natasha Mack as the starting big with Griner and Allen out, and she leads the team with 7.3 boards per game.

Phoenix is eighth in the WNBA (12 teams) in rebounds, 10th in offensive rebounds and fourth in blocks per 100 possessions without Griner. It ranks last in shooting at 39.4% from the floor while leading the league in 3-point attempts at 37 per game.

Griner will give the Mercury an interior threat, which could open up shots around the perimeter.

The game starts at 7 p.m. MST.

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