How close is Victor Cruz? On Wednesday, he was just a few yards away.
That's the distance from where the rest of the team was participating in the first OTA of the offseason to where Cruz was running through some routes and continuing the rehabilitation on his right knee. He worked on an adjacent field, unable to fully participate in team drills just yet.
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Until Wednesday, Cruz's rehab has been largely solitary and he has spoken about how trying it has been to his patience. Watching the rest of the team on the field, though, seems to have added another layer to his desire to return.
"I can't lie, I'm itching," Cruz said. "I'm running routes and feeling good, but I know there is still a process and I'm still a little ways away in terms of strength-wise and things like that. It feels good and watching those guys run routes and catch balls, I'm definitely itching to get back out there.''
Cruz said he feels he is about 80 percent recovered from the torn patellar tendon and he remains on schedule to return to the field for the start of training camp in July. He said he might even do some individual drills with the team -- running routes, catching passes, etc. -- before the end of the offseason program next month.
"(Things) are going well,'' Cruz said. "I moved into running more routes and running some more patterns. Feeling more confident in that regard. It is feeling really good right now. I think the guys are just going to take it slow.''
He may not have been on the same field as they were, but it was encouraging for the other Giants to see Cruz running.
"It's good to see his progress these last months,'' Eli Manning said. "Seeing him out there cutting, running routes, doing drills is always good. Hopefully, he'll continue to get stronger and stronger so he can be back for the start of the season.''