At least one player with the New York Giants is confident that wide receiver Victor Cruz will return to the field “at full strength” by the upcoming 2015-16 National Football League (NFL) season.
CBS Sports reports that New York Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara has kept tabs on his teammate since his knee injury from last October. Cruz ended last season prematurely when he tore his patellar tendon below his right kneecap during Game 6 against the Philadelphia Eagles. The injury took him out of the field for the rest of the year and he has been undergoing intensive physical therapy and training since.
Sports injuries have a huge effect on the healthcare industry, costing it $33 billion every year.
Cruz has been wary of his chances of returning to the field since his injury. In June, he told USA Today that the injury was “going to make me, or it’s going to break me.”
According to Amukamara, the injury has done the former. In the podcast “Talk is Cheap” this week, Amukamara said that he trained with Cruz in a facility in Arizona for a day in the offseason. He claims that Cruz’s recovery has defied expectations and that he’s doing extraordinarily well.
“I trained with Cruz for one day down in Arizona and he just came in for a day because he was in town. And I’m telling you, this guy looked fab[ulous],” Amukamara said in the podcast. “I’m telling you. Remember that I said this: This guy looks faster now than he did before. I was just looking at him and was like, ‘Man, how is this possible?'”
However, Amukamara’s analysis of Cruz’s progress has raised some eyebrows given his reputation for audacious and what some would call rose-colored predictions. He has predicted, for example, that the New York Giants will win the Super Bowl next year even though his team came off of a less-than-stellar 6-10 season. He also boasted that he will gain at least 10 interceptions next season even though that he has only gained six interceptions during his four-year career.
Regardless, team officials have said Cruz will be ready for training camp, which began on July 31st in New Jersey. So far, Cruz has averaged 80 catches per season and 15 yards per catch during his time in the NFL (excluding his six-game last season).
“It could be [that he’s faster] or it could be I haven’t seen him run in a long time and he just looks crisp,” Amukamara said. “But I keep telling him, ‘Man, you look faster. You look faster,’ and stuff like that. He looks so good, so polished. He does not look like he missed a step.”
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