November 05, 2015

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz has started running again and hopes to play this season.

The 29-year-old Cruz ran on Thursday for the first time since aggravating a calf injury in late September.

Cruz has not played in a game since he sustained a major knee injury in the sixth game of the 2014 season in Philadelphia. He had surgery and targeted the season opener against Dallas for his return.

A calf injury in mid-August sidelined the salsa-dancing wideout, and he has not practiced since that injury.

With the Giants (4-4) at the halfway point in the season, many have wondered whether Cruz will play. He had faith that he will and he believes his calf is now healed.

''I think God is testing me to see just how much I can take, just how much I'm willing to put this game on the line for my own sake and see how much I can deal with, and see how much I can handle mentally,'' Cruz said. ''I'm just being calm, being reserved, and coming through with that challenge and tying to tackle everything as they come.''

Cruz said his game plan is to continue running, add some speed and then start cutting.

The six-year veteran thinks receiving platelet rich plasma injections helped in healing the calf, adding recent MRIs are clean.

Time is working against Cruz.

''I just want to get out there and be 100 percent and play,'' Cruz said. ''I just want to play this game again and help my team win and help my team get over the hump and be a voice of this team, not only in the locker room or on the practice field, but in the games, and be out there with them.''

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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