Brittney Griner not traveling with the Phoenix Mercury on road trip due to mental health

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Phoenix Mercury superstar Brittney Griner will not travel with the team on its two-game road trip to focus on her mental health, the team announced on Saturday.

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

The two-time Olympic gold medalist spent nearly 300 days in Russian custody following her detention in February 2022 and was sentenced to nine years in prison under drug-smuggling charges after authorities in the country found cannabis oil in her luggage.

She was released in December in a prisoner exchange with Russia.

The 32-year-old Griner has played in 20 games for Phoenix this season and is averaging 18.2 points 6.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.7 blocks per game. Earlier this month, Griner participated in her ninth career WNBA All-Star game.

The Mercury’s record is 6-17 and currently sits in 10th place in the standings. Phoenix plays at the Chicago Sky on Sunday and the Indiana Fever on Tuesday.

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