On Saturday (July 29), the Phoenix Mercury announced that their star player, Brittney Griner, won’t be traveling with the team for their upcoming two-game road trip in an effort to focus on her mental health.
The team plays the Chicago Sky on Sunday and the Indiana Fever on Tuesday, but she won’t be there.
“The Mercury fully support Brittney and we will continue to work together on a timeline for her return,” the team said in a statement, according to ESPN. The mental health break comes roughly five months after the team announced her return to the WNBA following a 10-month detainment in Russia on drug charges.
Griner spent 294 days in detainment after being sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison in August – stemming from an arrest at the Sheremetyevo International Airport in February 2022.
She was freed on December 9 after being involved in a prisoner exchange between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin.