Brittney Griner starting tonight as Phoenix Mercury host Seattle Storm

PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 05: Brittney Griner
PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 05: Brittney Griner /

PHOENIX– After missing eight games due to a left knee injury and right ankle sprain, Mercury center Brittney Griner will re-join the team tonight as a part of the starting lineup.

Phoenix managed to go only 3-5 in her absence, losing valuable ground in the playoff standings. They are, however, coming off a last-minute victory in Dallas against a Stars team staring right at them in the standings. They will look to keep that momentum over the last eight games of the regular season, now with Griner back in tow.

The fifth-year veteran out of Baylor averaged  22.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game this year over the first 18 games of the season as she put together a resume that put her on track with other frontcourt MVP candidates like Sylvia Fowles and Tina Charles. She has already broken her own career scoring record this season, as well as records for made field goals and free throws in a game.

According to a Mercury press release, Griner will also surpass Cappie Pondexter for seventh in all-time minutes played for the franchise after her second minute played tonight. Her absence, however, has allowed players like Emma Cannon, Cayla George and Angel Robinson to get extra experience as Phoenix looks to define its rotation with the season winding down.

Next: As Mercury build anew, it's Brittney Griner's time