- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It's been an injury-riddled preseason for the New York Giants, and at this point they still can't be sure how close to full strength they'll be when they open the regular season on Sept. 8 in Dallas. But two of their key injured offensive players seem as though they're at least moving in the right direction.
Wide receiver Victor Cruz is no longer in the walking boot he wore after bruising his heel in the second preseason game a week and a half ago. Cruz told the New York Daily News on Friday, "In my head, I am [playing in the opener], but there's still doctors and everybody has to look at me."
Yeah, doctors. Sure would help if these guys could get their own medical degrees, wouldn't it?
Anyway, the Giants are optimistic that Cruz will be on the field for them for the opener, but all along they have treated the heel bruise extremely cautiously in order to prevent it from developing into a more serious injury. If Cruz can practice next week, that's obviously a hopeful sign. But even if he does, expect the Giants to lighten his workload as he works his way back.
Center David Baas, who is recovering from a knee injury suffered in the same game, refused to put a timetable on his own recovery but said he'd done "field work" Friday, which he described as "Cleats are on, you're out there doing stance stuff, moving around and testing it out to see how it feels." His original prognosis was a 3-to-6 week recovery time, which technically could have had him back for Week 1, but that seems unlikely.
Giants coach Tom Coughlin said the practices that begin in the middle of next week would be the key barometers for the Giants' injured players, and that includes fullback Henry Hynoski and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul along with Cruz, Baas and others.
"If we get Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in -- a full week of solid preparation -- we'll be good," Coughlin said.
• Tight end Adrien Robinson sprained his foot in Thursday night's preseason finale and was undergoing tests Friday. The team does not appear to believe Robinson's injury is serious.
• Injured safety Stevie Brown was in the locker room and said he's still reading up on ACL surgeries before deciding which type to have and when to schedule it. Brown seemed in good spirits, but he said it "defnitely [stinks]" to be out for the season following the knee injury he suffered Saturday night in the preseason game against the Jets.