Phoenix Mercury heart Brittney Griner has left the WNBA bubble in Bradenton, Florida, for private causes, the Mercury introduced Saturday.
“Our staff’s dedication stays at the 2020 common season and playoffs,” the staff commentary stated. “Our gamers and coaches will don’t have any further remark at the topic.”
Griner didn’t play Friday for the primary time when trainer Sandy Brondello didn’t elaborate at the reason as opposed to private causes. It’s not identified if Griner’s departure is COVID-19 comparable.
It’s not but made up our minds whether or not Griner may just probably rejoin the staff, however she would want to undergo a quarantine length to take action.
The Mercury 22-game common season concludes Sept. 11 adopted via the playoffs supplied they’re a few of the best 8 within the 12-team WNBA. They lately are in 6th position and in a gaggle with Indiana, Connecticut, Dallas and Washington preventing for the overall 3 playoff berths.
With out the 6-Nine Griner, the Mercury’s main scorer and rebounder, the staff is right down to 10 gamers. Ahead Nia Coffey injured her hand past due within the first part Friday and is indexed as questionable for Sunday’s recreation vs. Washington.
6-Four Kia Vaughn began at heart for the Mercury on Friday in a 90-80 loss to Minnesota. At the back of Vaughn and tool ahead Brianna Turner, the one different true submit is Alanna Smith even supposing Coffey if wholesome may also play some within the submit.
The Mercury are with out energy ahead Jessica Breland all of this season as a result of a league-approved scientific exemption.
The Mercury (6-7) are on a three-game shedding streak and feature misplaced 5 in their closing seven video games. With out Griner, they are going to be pressed to increase their seven-year playoff streak that started when Griner was once a rookie and No. 1 general draft pick of Baylor.
This yr, Griner is averaging 17.five issues (No. 7 WNBA), 7.five rebounds (No. Nine), three.zero assists and 1.eight blocks (No. 1).
She has made All-WNBA first or 2nd staff 5 occasions together with 2019 when she was once runner-up for league Maximum Precious Participant in the back of Washington’s Elena Delle Donne.
Practice Jeff Metcalfe on Twitter @jeffmetcalfe.