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Victor Cruz healthy at start of Giants training camp

New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (80)

New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (80) runs with the ball during minicamp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, NJ, on Tuesday, June 14, 2016. Credit: Brad Penner

Victor Cruz on Thursday cleared the final hurdle on his way to fulfilling the timeline that has been his goal all offseason: a return to action for the start of training camp.

The wide receiver passed his medical and conditioning tests when he and the rest of the Giants reported to camp, and he is expected to take part in Friday’s first practice of the season. After missing all of last season with a calf injury that required surgery and most of the previous season with a torn patellar tendon, Cruz likely will not be a full participant in the workout. The Giants were exceedingly cautious with him in the spring and are expected to ease Cruz back into action. But the fact that he passed the first inspection and is not starting camp on the physically-unable-to-perform list is a bit positive and a huge step for him.

Cruz may be cleared, but three others will start camp on PUP. Defensive tackle Damon Harrison (knee), linebacker J.T. Thomas (hamstring) and defensive tackle Jay Bromley (ankle) received the designation and did not participate in the conditioning test. They are free to come off PUP and rejoin the team at any point in the preseason, and Ben McAdoo said the expectation is that they will do just that quickly. “We don’t think any of them are extremely serious at this point,” he said.

McAdoo said Harrison’s knee was swollen, possibly from new training routines in the offseason that aggravated old surgical procedures. Whatever the cause, the Giants are not overly concerned about being without one of their main free-agent acquisitions for the start of camp.

Sure, they may have to start without Snacks, but they could get a little salsa.

JPP ready to go

A year after missing all of training camp (and half the season) after a fireworks accident, Jason Pierre-Paul reported for this season’s prelude optimistic about what he’ll be able to do with what remains of his right hand. He had offseason surgery that is expected to allow him to play with a glove instead of a cumbersome club and said he is “excited to get going.”

“I’m not worried about any club,” he said. “My hand feels great, no complaining or anything. I’ve been training hard and getting after it. I’m just ready to play some football. The club isn’t going to be an issue or anything. My right hand feels like my left hand.”

Giant steps

Guard Justin Pugh said the focus of this year’s team is to finish the kind of games they let slip away all too often last season. The key, he said, is learning from those collapses — although that’s easier said than done. “I also said that after Dallas in Week 1 last year, ‘We have to learn from this and we can’t let it happen again,’ ” Pugh said, “and it happened again.” . . . Undrafted rookie defensive tackle Melvin Lewis was placed on the non-football illness list for the start of camp . . . Friday’s practice scheduled for 10:40 a.m. is free and open to the public, but in the event of inclement weather, which is being forecast, it will be moved to the fieldhouse and the public will not be allowed inside.

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