Victor Cruz hasn't run on terra firma since he suffered a calf injury three weeks ago, which seems to give him little chance of running at AT&T Stadium on Sunday night.

The wide receiver was not on the field for practice with the Giants Monday and Tom Coughlin said he continues to work on his rehab by using an underwater treadmill. The Giants are moving forward in their preparations for the Cowboys game without him.

"Just waiting and seeing," Eli Manning said. "I think you plan and prepare as if he won't be out there and if he can get into practice this week, great. If not, we'll keep going forward and wait until he gets back."

"We'd love to have him out there," fellow receiver Rueben Randle said, "but we have to prepare. We have to get ready to go out there Sunday and get a win."

Complicating Cruz's recovery from the calf strain is his return from a torn patellar tendon suffered last October. He looked strong on it at the beginning of training camp until the calf problem -- which he initially called a "hiccup" -- sidelined him.

"I thought we worked our way through that," Coughlin said of the knee, "but that could have an effect on what's going on now. You never know about that."

The Giants did get some good news regarding injuries. Linebacker Jon Beason returned to work after missing two weeks with a knee sprain. "He's excited, we're excited," Coughlin said. Defensive end Robert Ayers Jr. also returned to practice after missing a week with an ankle ailment. Coughlin said he looked good in practice.

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Neither one is certain to play in the opener, but they seem well on their way. Cruz, on the other hand, has yet to get on that path.

Cruz theoretically could return to practice Wednesday and still get a full week of work before the opener.

"He'd have to practice," Coughlin said. "He'd have to be comfortable. If he looks good in practice, we'll decide."

But there is no indication that Wednesday will be any different in terms of his availability.

"He's missed the last few weeks," Manning said, "so they probably want to get him back and give him a few days or a full week of practice before he goes."