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WR Victor Cruz gives rehab update; talks WR corps


The number 80 has two meanings to Victor Cruz right now.

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The Giants wide receiver's jersey number also marks the percentage he's putting on himself at the start of summer as he rehabs back from a torn patellar tendon in his right knee.

Suffered during a road game last October against the Philadelphia Eagles, the injury cost him the rest of the 2014 season, but with spring football wrapped up at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center, he's still targeting a Week 1 return.

Additionally, coach Tom Coughlin said last week after the final practice of minicamp that it is "not the intent" to put Cruz on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list at the start of training camp, which opens July 30.

"Obviously coming off an injury like the one I had, you want to be able to come back stronger and come back in tip-top shape," Cruz said during an interview with "And I think I'm headed there. I think I'm about a little over 80 percent. These six weeks will be huge for me to continue to build on that and continue to be the force that I was before. So [I'm] just taking it one day at a time."

From simply walking to running in a straight line to cutting, Cruz hit personal milestones over the last eight months with the aid of the training staff. Now the final hurdle is strength.

"Just continue to get the leg stronger, continue to get the muscles around the knee stronger and taking it from there," Cruz said. "So that's the biggest thing right now and then just continuing to run routes so I can get my body acclimated to running routes again and we go from there."

While he was limited in organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp this spring, Cruz was still with his teammates on the practice fields. And in between rehab work, Cruz was coaching up the other receivers as both he and Odell Beckham Jr., who was dealing with a sore hamstring, were sidelined.

"Just vocally, just talking to them and letting them know that we've got to stay diligent in this process," Cruz said. "We've got to make sure, no matter from a rookie free agent all the way up to the veteran guys, we've got to make sure that we're attacking and we're doing all the right things that we need to do. So verbally and vocally I've been talking to those guys and keeping them levelheaded."

That included Rueben Randle, who had a big spring and has grown "exponentially" as he prepares for his fourth NFL season.

"I think he understands what his role is in the NFL and on this team, and he gets it," Cruz said. "And now it's good to see him flourish. It's good to see him be comfortable. You can see he's really comfortable out there right now, and I'm excited to see him grow."

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