EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Victor Cruz said today his injured heel is improving and he believes he will be ready to play when the Giants open their regular season on Sept. 8 in Dallas.
"I think that's definitely a target date for me," Cruz said. "I think I want to come out and get some regular practice in as well, once the doctors let me and the training staff lets me do so. Just taking it one day at a time."
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Photos from Giants Practice Cruz missed last week's game vs. the Jets and will not play in the preseason finale Thursday night in New England. He hopes to rejoin his teammates on the practice field on Monday.
"In my mind, that's a date that I'm targeting," Cruz said. "I'm going to work diligently this week while the team's away and focus on getting myself ready and ready to practice potentially by next week."
Cruz suffered a heel contusion while running down the field on the first offensive series against Indianapolis nine days ago. He initially wore a walking boot and was on crutches. He soon shed the crutches and yesterday discarded the boot.
"Feeling good, feeling good," Cruz said. "It's been better, feels a lot better, a lot of the swelling has gone down. Obviously I'm out of the boot now, looking forward to better days coming.
"I knew initially that it was just a small bump in the road and that I just needed some time off to get time off the boot and off the foot and get things going the right way," Cruz said. "Dallas was definitely a target date for me and I knew that I had to be ready for that date. Now that that boot's off and it's feeling good, I still have some time to recuperate. It feels even better."
Cruz said he seldom feels pain in the heel.
"Just in the morning," he said. "There's swelling in the morning when I first put my foot down, that's about it. Other than that, once I get it going and get it warmed up, it seems to loosen up a little bit and feel better. We still want to take it easy and take it one day at a time, but it's starting to feel a lot better."
Cruz said his progress is due to a variety of treatments.
"We've been doing the works," he said. "We've been doing the bike, hot tub, cold tub, contrasting it, we've been doing a little massage, ice cup; I'm picking up marbles with my feet. A lot of different things were in there, so all of it's been beneficial, which is why I'm here in front of you guys bootless."
Cruz made one of his signature big plays on his only reception this preseason, catching an Eli Manning pass and turning it into a 57-yard touchdown in the opener in Pittsburgh. However, that remains the Giants' only touchdown pass of the summer and one of just two touchdowns they've scored in three games.
The offense clearly needs to get back on Cruz control.
"I think it's tough," Cruz said. "I think, with the amount of reps that we get, it's hard to develop a rhythm. We just need to get it going a little bit and I think our balance isn't there yet; our balance of running the ball and passing it. Slowly but surely we'll get that back. Days of practice and getting everybody back out there, I think that will help us. But I think we just need to build some fluidity within the offense.
"I know what type of talent that we have out there. I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to us being able to line up, our best 11 on each side of the ball, offense, defense and special teams, and go out there and see what we can do. My money's on my team."