Phoenix Mercury Center Brittney Griner Leaves WNBA Bubble for Personal Reasons

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Phoenix Mercury center and six-time All-Star Brittney Griner has left the WNBA's bubble in Bradenton, Fla. due to personal reasons, the team announced Saturday. 

Griner sat out of the Mercury's loss to the Minnesota Lynx on Friday with personal reasons listed on the team's injury report. The 29-year-old last played during Phoenix's loss to the Los Angeles Sparks on Aug. 19. 

The WNBA started a modified 22-game schedule within a bubble setting on July 25 after the season was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The regular season is slated to end on Sept. 12 before the playoffs begin later in the month. If Griner were to return, she would have to quarantine for seven days at the IMG Academy as part of the league's medical protocol. 

Griner is a two-time WNBA scoring champion, two-time defensive player of the year and an Olympic gold medal winner from the 2016 Games. The 6-foot, 8-inch center was drafted by Phoenix with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 draft and signed a multi-year contract with the franchise in February. 

Entering Saturday, the Mercury sport a 6-7 record in the bubble and stand at fifth place in the Western Conference. The team has reached the postseason in each of the last seven seasons, including a championship title in 2014. 

During the 2020 season, Griner has averaged 17.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists over 12 games. The Mercury have been without forward Jessica Breland, who received a medical exemption to sit out of the 2020 season. 

In Phoenix's statement, the team says its "commitment remains on the 2020 regular season and playoffs" with no further questions being taken on Griner at this time.