Brittney Griner works out in Texas, doesn’t indicate return date

When Griner leaves San Antonio, she won't go to her home in Phoenix, where she plays in the WNBA, but to a place described as private and secure.

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Brittney Griner appears to be returning to a sense of normalcy after working out in Texas on Monday, but she hasn’t indicated when she would return to the sport that landed her in Russia in the first place.

The WNBA star picked up a basketball on Sunday for the first time in nearly 10 months, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, her agent, shared with ESPN

Still, Griner, 32, has yet to make preparations to depart Fort Sam Houston, the part of Joint Base San Antonio where she landed following her 18-hour flight last week from the Russian penal colony that held her, Colas said. The newly freed Griner is deciding when — or if — she will return to her career playing with the Phoenix Mercury.

Brittney Griner locs
A newly freed Brittney Griner is shown returning to America in this photo shared last week by Russian media. Griner, who is currently in San Antonio, hasn’t indicated when — or if — she will return to playing basketball professionally. (Photo: Screenshot/ News)

“If she wants to play, it will be for her to share. She has the holidays to rest and decide what’s next without any pressure,” Colas said, according to ESPN. “She’s doing really, really well. She seems to have endured this in pretty incredible ways.”

Authorities traded Griner in a prisoner swap for convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout on Thursday, The Associated Press previously reported. Bout served over 14 years in a U.S. prison before his release.

Roger Carstens, the U.S. special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, said Griner was energetic and talkative for around 12 of the 18 hours they spent traveling from Abu Dhabi.

“I have been in prison for 10 months now, listening to Russian,” Griner said, according to Carstens, AP reported. “I want to talk.”

According to ESPN, after her flight landed in Texas and she reunited with her wife, Cherelle, in an airplane hangar, Griner walked out of the hangar and headed to a hospital on the base, where she received a complete physical and mental health assessment.

She and Cherelle have been residing in a hotel on the base while they reunite with family and consider their next moves.

Sources claim that when Griner does leave San Antonio, she won’t go to her home in Phoenix, where she plays in the WNBA, but rather to a place described as private and secure.

Griner turned down the offer of her attorneys to send her a basketball during her detainment in Moscow, where she spent most of her time. She said she wasn’t prepared to think about the game at the time. 

Colas admitted she was unsure if Griner’s training on Sunday was a step toward her professional comeback, noting that her client should make her first public statement post-return “this week.”

Colas stated that Griner would strive to draw attention to other Americans thought to be wrongly imprisoned in other nations, especially Paul Whelan, the former U.S. Marine detained in Russia four years ago, accused of espionage.

“There’s no timeline on her return at this point. She’s reintegrating into a world that has changed for her now,” Colas said, ESPN reported. “From a pure security standpoint, she’s not going to be able to move in the world the way she did. It’s not a fate that she asked for, but I think she’s going to try to utilize her fame for good.”

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