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Mercury's Breland Medically Excused from 2020 Season

July 12, 2020 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) - Phoenix Mercury News Release

With training camp underway at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fl., for the three-time WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury, the team and league today announced that Jessica Breland, a Hodgkin's lymphoma survivor, has been medically excused from participation. Breland was acquired by the Mercury from the Atlanta Dream as part of a three-team trade this offseason.

Breland said: "These last two weeks have been really hard for me. As a cancer survivor you fear a relapse, but you never think about the long-term effects chemotherapy reeked on your body. The threat of COVID-19 has forced me to acknowledge a harsh reality - although I am one of the top 144 WNBA players, my battle with cancer years ago left me vulnerable to coronavirus. With a heavy heart, I will be sitting out the upcoming WNBA season. I am blessed to have the Phoenix family behind me and their full support. I wish everyone the best in Florida, and I'll be thinking of you and cheering from afar!"

"We appreciate the work that the WNBA, Commissioner Cathy Engelbert, and the WNBA Players Association did to get us to a point where we can have a 2020 season in the safest possible way," said Mercury General Manager Jim Pitman. "We recognize that participating in the 2020 season was a decision players rightly did not take lightly, and we certainly understand that Jessica's circumstances ultimately made this decision necessary. She has our full support, she remains a member of our family, and we know she will be tuned in each night to support her teammates."

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