Cardinals' Steve Keim takes leave of absence, Brittney Griner returning to WNBA: top sports stories

After she was freed from a Russian prison in a high-level prisoner exchange, WNBA star Brittney Griner announced she will return for the Phoenix Mercury's upcoming season, and the general manager of the Arizona Cardinals is taking an immediate leave of absence from the team – these are the top stories in the world of sports from Dec. 12-18.

1. Cardinals GM Steve Keim taking indefinite leave of absence: Steve Keim, the general manager of the Arizona Cardinals, is taking a health-related leave of absence, according to the team. Officials said no timetable has been revealed for Steve Keim's return. Keim has been the Cardinals' general manager for nearly a decade.

2. Brittney Griner says she will return for WNBA's upcoming season: After being freed from a Russian prison, WNBA star Brittney Griner says she will return to the Phoenix Mercury for the upcoming season. "I intend to play basketball for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury this season, and in doing so, I look forward to being able to say ‘thank you’ to those of you who advocated, wrote, and posted for me in person soon."

3. Cardinals QB Kyler Murray tears ACL, will miss rest of the season: Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray will miss the rest of the season after tearing his ACL on "Monday Night Football" against the New England Patriots.

190c061b-New England Patriots v Arizona Cardinals

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 12: Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals is carted off the field after being injured against the New England Patriots during the first quarter of the game at State Farm Stadium on December 12, 2022 in Glendale, Arizon (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

4. Lionel Messi wins World Cup, Argentina beats France on penalties: In one of the wildest finals in the tournament's 92-year history, Argentina won its third World Cup title by beating France 4-2 in a penalty shootout after a 3-3 draw featuring two goals from 35-year-old Lionel Messi and a hat trick by his heir apparent, France forward Kylian Mbappé.


LUSAIL CITY, QATAR - DECEMBER 18: Lionel Messi best player hold his trophy after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Final match between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium on December 18, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar. (Photo by Lionel Hahn/Getty Images)

5. Ex-NBA star Amar’e Stoudemire charged with punching daughter, calls the allegations 'groundless': Former Phoenix Suns star Amar’e Stoudemire is facing a misdemeanor battery charge after he allegedly hit one of his teenage daughters in the face, but he denies the allegations.

San Antonio Spurs v Phoenix Suns, Game 1

PHOENIX - MAY 03: Amar'e Stoudemire #1 of the Phoenix Suns shoots a free throw shot against the San Antonio Spurs during Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2010 NBA Playoffs at US Airways Center on May 3, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. T (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Associated Press (AP) contributed to this report.

Previous reports


Brittney Griner freed from prison, American journalist dies while covering World Cup: top sports stories

After being detained for 10 months in Russia, Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner was freed in a prisoner exchange, and an American journalist died suddenly while covering the World Cup in Qatar – these are the top stories in the world of sports from Dec. 5-11.


US eliminated from World Cup, Arizona basketball suffers 1st loss of season: top sports stories

The United States men's national soccer team was eliminated from the World Cup after beating Iran to reach the knockout stage, and the No. 4 ranked University of Arizona men's basketball team suffered its first loss of the season in the team's Pac-12 opener – these are the top stories in the world of sports from Nov. 28 - Dec. 4.


ASU names new head football coach, Cardinals' Kingsbury on hot seat after latest loss: top sports stories

Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury is on the hot seat after Arizona's latest loss, leaving the team with almost no shot at making the playoffs, and Arizona State introduced its new head football coach after the Sun Devils fell to the Wildcats in the Territorial Cup – these are the top stories in the world of sports from Nov. 21-27.

top sports collage 121922

(Clockwise from top left: Photos by Christian Petersen/Getty Images; Lionel Hahn/Getty Images; Christian Petersen/Getty Images; Norm Hall/Getty Images )