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Victor Cruz hopes to return to practice the week of season opener

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –- Victor Cruz remains sidelined by a calf injury that could keep the New York Giants wide receiver out until the week of the season opener.

Cruz said on Monday he remains optimistic he will be able to play in the opener at Dallas on Sept. 13. His hope is that he can practice the week before the opener. But as of now, the Giants haven't cleared him to even jog.

"I think we're just being careful, cautious with it," Cruz said when asked if the calf injury has become more serious than initially expected. "Calves are tricky. Once they feel healed and once they feel OK, you can go out here and mess it up again. So you want to make sure that it's fully healed and fully recovered once you step back out there on the field."

"Not that I haven't been able to [jog] but they don't want me to right now," he later added when asked if he can jog to stay in shape. "They just want me to sit down and let it heal, let it repair itself and things like that."

Cruz said inflammation in his left calf has "gone down substantially" but that the training staff continues to try to get "the swelling down."

Cruz doesn't think it will take him long to get back into the mix of things despite this recent time off due to the calf injury and the fact he is returning from significant surgery on his right knee.

"Obviously, you go out and you understand coming off a major knee surgery, any injury after that, you want to be careful with it," Cruz said. "I think that's what we're doing. We just want to make sure that it's really back to 100 percent and strong and able to cut, and all those things before we try it out on the field."

"Nothing has been set in stone, in terms of playing that first week or not playing that first week," Cruz added. "I'm still excited for Week 1. That's still the goal, that's still the plan, in my opinion. Obviously, the training staff will advise if they see differently as the next week and a half comes along. But we'll see. So, I'm just taking it one day at a time, and making sure that I'm ready to go."