Victor Cruz avoids PUP list, set to practice Friday

The salsa is back in the Big Apple.

Victor Cruz will be on the Giants' practice field when the team begins training sessions on Friday and will not be placed on the PUP list, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per sources informed of his progress.

The injury-afflicted wide receiver hasn't played a game since suffering a season-ending knee injury in October 2014. He planned to return in 2015, stirring Giants fans fantasies of a lethal Odell Beckham-Cruz combo on the wings. However, a calf injury sidelined him for the season, leaving everyone to wonder when he'd ever return to his full form, or the field.

When Cruz participated in individual drills in May's organized team activities, he called the workout a "turning point" and promised the plan was "to be full go" by the beginning of training camp. The Giants wideout is currently on schedule, but updates on Cruz's health have become the most predictably unreliable reports in the league.

If and when Cruz returns to the fold, his role in the offense isn't guaranteed. Beckham has easily supplanted him as the top receiver on the team and early whispers on second-round draft pickSterling Shepard are more than encouraging. After nearly two seasons out of action, it's fair to question whether we will ever see the agile and enthusiastic Cruz that inspired New Yorkers from all walks of life to take up salsa dancing.

All the Giants can ask is that Cruz returns to the sidelines in at least some capacity, and without a pathetic preseason pool party.

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