Victor Cruz stretched with his New York Giants teammates when they warmed up for their first offseason workout Tuesday in their voluntary minicamp. But when his teammates began running through some drills and routines, Cruz went off by himself to do his own workout.
"Just the fact that I was out here with my team and out here with my teammates, the camaraderie, just being in those stretch lines after a long offseason and a long season last season for myself, it felt good just to be out here," Cruz said after the workout was over. "Hearing the music, being out here with my guys, feeling that energy and then doing a pretty good workout kind of behind on the turf field there, it felt good."
Cruz hasn't played since Week 6 of the 2014 season, when he suffered an injury to the patellar tendon of his right knee in a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. The injury required surgery, and then, last summer, when he was trying to return from that, Cruz suffered an injury to his left calf that ultimately would keep him out of the entire 2015 season and also require surgery. So this time around, the Giants are being ultra-cautious with the 29-year-old receiver.
"Victor, he looks good, he's moving around, he's doing a lot of things," Giants coach Ben McAdoo said. "He's certainly ready to go, if we need him to go today, but he's going to go when we deem him ready to go."
Cruz said the goal "is not just to be ready for Week 1, but to be ready for all 16 [regular-season games] and into the playoffs." He insisted that when he does return, he'll be the same explosive force he was from 2011 to 2013, when he averaged 80.3 catches per season.
"Absolutely," he said. "I mean, I'm not in the business to go out there and be half of myself or half of what I was. I want to go out there and be 100 percent and be the same player that I once was."
Cruz said he can do everything he needs to do on the football field, and while he admits he has had setbacks before, he said he's not worried about that.
"I'm not thinking about any setbacks, I'm not thinking about anything that can lead me in the opposite direction than upward and onward, the way I feel that I can go," he said. "My body feels great, and I just want to continue to build upon that."