Why is Brittney Griner not playing tonight against the Mystics? Latest on Mercury star's status (May 23)

Syndication: Arizona Republic
Why is Brittney Griner not playing tonight against the Mystics?

Brittney Griner has not played in the Phoenix Mercury's first three games of the season because of a fractured left toe. She's expected to miss tonight's game against the Washington Mystics, and there's no timetable for her return to the court yet.

The Mercury announced before the start of the regular season that Griner is going to miss an indefinite amount of time because of an injury. She missed the team's final preseason game against the LA Sparks because of a foot issue. She was later diagnosed with a toe fracture in her left foot.

Despite her absence, the Mercury has a 2-1 record, including an impressive 98-88 win over the defending champions Las Vegas Aces on Tuesday. Kahleah Cooper has been fantastic for Phoenix, leading the league in scoring. Cooper is averaging 31.3 points in the first three games.

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What happened to Brittney Griner?

According to Jack Maloney of CBS Sports, Brittney Griner could have suffered the injury in the Phoenix Mercury's first preseason game against the Seattle Storm. It could have also happened during practice before the LA Sparks gaame, but it's worth noting that she only played 15 minutes against Seattle.

With Griner out of the lineup for the foreseeable future, Natasha Mack has stepped up in her absence. Mack has gotten the start over players like Morgan Bertsch, Liz Dixon and Mikiah Herber Harrigan. Mack is averaging 5.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists in her first three stars.

There are no other players on the team's injury report for tonight's game against the Washington Mystics. The Mercury will try to extend their winning streak to three, while the Mystics are still looking for their first win of the season. They have lost four in a row to start the campaign.


Brittney Griner's stats from last season

Brittney Griner was back in the WNBA last season after missing all of 2022 due to being detained in Russia. She was released to United States custody on Dec. 8 that year and began preparing for the new season early last year.

The 33-year-old center played 31 games for the Phoenix Mercury last year, averaging 17.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.6 blocks. She shot 56.2% from the field and 77.2% from the free throw line. She was named an All-Star for the ninth time in her WNBA career.

However, the Mercury finished with a record of 9-31, which was the worst in the league. It was a tough season for Phoenix, considering Griner was still adjusting after a tough year imprisoned in Russia.

It also didn't help that Skylar Diggins-Smith was on maternity leave, while the Mercury had their worst season since 2012.

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