Brittney Griner May 20, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; WNBA MVP candidate and All Stars player Brittney Griner during media day before she enters her eighth season with Phoenix Mercury. Mandatory Credit: Nick Oza/The Republic-USA TODAY NETWORK

On Friday night, superstar Brittney Griner will make her official return to the WNBA, playing her first regular season game since returning from her 10-month detainment in Russia. It’s a positive update for Griner, but that doesn’t necessarily mean this season will be easy for Griner.

As Josh Weinfuss and M.A. Voepel wrote for ESPN this week, Brittney Griner is going to have to deal with a lot this upcoming season – physically and mentally – that she won’t be able to totally prepare for during practice.

“It’s one thing to work out and practice, and sure, she’s been at it since getting home in December. But being on a court alone, or in a small group, or even in full scrimmages can’t replicate the grind of practice, games and travel — whether she ends up flying commercial with the team or private charters for security concerns — that’s on rinse-and-repeat for months,” Josh Weinfuss and M.A. Voepel wrote for ESPN.

“There’s no doubt Griner’s body will take a beating in the paint every night and, after not experiencing the banging under the boards for a while, it will take time for her to get used to it again. Recovery will be as important for Griner as it’s ever been. Rest days will be necessary. Soreness will need to be managed.”

It will certainly be interesting to see how Griner can handle the upcoming season and whether or not she will be able to return to her normal dominant form.