After finding out he would not be on the PUP list at the start of training camp, then participating in the New York Giants conditioning test, wide receiver Victor Cruz termed Thursday an "important day."
That's because it was the first "official" day in his comeback from the day last fall when he crumpled to the turf at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia with a torn patellar tendon. Cruz seemed loose and relaxed while talking to reporters at Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
"I just wanted to get here, get back in front of my teammates, get back in front of the coaching staff and talk to them and show them the work I have been putting in," Cruz said. "Tomorrow is obviously another obstacle in getting out there on the field, doing some routes and being a part of the team again, so I am excited, man. I have been counting down this time 10 months ago and I'm excited to get back out there."
Cruz showed up at camp to begin his comeback wearing a Michael Jordan No. 45 jersey. The wide receiver was asked about the fact that he looked bigger and stronger than he was a year ago. Cruz jokingly toyed with the reporter who asked the question.
"You checking me out? Do I look good? He is blushing. You see him blushing? Yes. I have been working out. Obviously with a lower body injury, you do a lot of upper body, at least early on. I was definitely working out, making sure I stayed physically ready to go and physically was ready to face the battle of training camp and things like that," Cruz said. "The lower body came afterwards, obviously, once the knee got fully healthy and when I was able to squat and able to do lunges and things like that, so the lower body came later, but yeah, man, I feel good."
Cruz doesn't know how much he will be allowed to do on Friday, but expects his progress to be "incremental" during camp.
"I do understand that I have to take it slow and the training staff understands that as well. Even if I went to them and was like, 'I feel 100 percent and want to go out there and play and do every series.' They understand that they want me to take it slow and again I am still not ... there is a difference between being in shape and then football shape so I still have to kind of develop that a little bit so that takes a little bit of time, I week or two so we will see how it goes but I definitely understand that I want to take it one game at a time, one step at a time, one practice at a time," Cruz said.
The Giants, and Cruz, hope those steps lead to him being ready for the regular-season opener vs. the Dallas Cowboys.