U.S.-Russian prisoner exchange a reminder of Brittney Griner's absence from Mercury

May 16, 2022

As the Phoenix Mercury get closer to the upcoming WNBA season, the focus continues to be the team working around Brittney Griner's expected absence for at least the start of the year.

Ahead of the Mercury's first preseason game against the Seattle Storm Thursday, head coach Vanessa Nygaard addressed the recent news surrounding a prisoner exchange between the United States and Russia that released Trevor Reed, a Marine veteran jailed by Moscow for nearly three years.

"We’re very happy to see that he’s been released and we are excited for the potential for BG. I’m really looking forward to seeing the White House and Biden Administration help to make that happen. We are just happy for Trevor Reed’s family. Since it happened last night, we’ve been waiting a long time for some positive news and this is definitely some positive news. It’s great to have our first exhibition game, but it’s something in the right direction finally. Knowing the feeling that we all have, we know this is challenging for them so we’re happy he’s returned," Nygaard said.

The Mercury will have to modify its lineup throughout to start season while Griner remains detained in Russia. Her detention was extended to May 19.

“That’s my sister. I love her ... It’s toughest on her family, they have to hear these things. I just love her, and I think about her every day and can’t wait until she gets back with us," Mercury guard Skylar Diggins-Smith said on Wednesday during the team's media day.

Source: Yahoo Sports (Photo by: Fox Sports)