Brittney Griner has been away from the court for a long time after spending 10 months in Russian detention on drug charges after officials discovered a little amount of prescription hashish oil in her luggage.
Now that she's back in the United States, she's working hard to get back into the physical shape required to play professional basketball,
but as the WNBA preseason begins, it looks she's not quite there yet. Brittney Griner did not travel with the Phoenix Mercury as they began preseason action on the road against the Seattle Storm this week.
And, after the game, head coach Vanessa Nygaard stated that it was because she was not yet ready to play.
"It's just part of the preparation for the season, getting her up to speed," Nygaard told Just Women's Sports. "She'd been gone for a long time."
Nygaard would not commit to Griner participating in the team's first home preseason game on Friday.
"We'll see how she's doing," Nygaard added. "She's making great strides." Obviously, she's had a long layoff, but I know she's eager to come back on the court and has been working extremely hard, so we'll see.
"It's devastating news that the great athlete isn't yet ready to play basketball just a few days before the start of the WNBA season, and the sports world felt perplexed and alarmed by her absence.