Tom Coughlin wasn’t thrilled Victor Cruz needed knee surgery this week, but the Giants coach liked the timing of it.

Cruz underwent an arthroscopic debridement Thursday in Florida, ending the star wide receiver’s season two games early but — at least in Coughlin’s opinion — setting Cruz up for an even better 2014.

“[The need for surgery was] very unfortunate,” Coughlin said Friday. “Victor was having a good year. It would have been great to have him for these last two games, but we’re very confident that the swiftness with which the procedure was done should give him an outstanding opportunity in the offseason to be stronger than ever.”

Indeed, by having the surgery now Cruz is expected to be healed by the start of the Giants’ offseason program. The procedure also was minor enough that he should be able to participate in the team’s late-spring minicamp.

By missing the final two games, Cruz will end up two yards shy of his third consecutive 1,000-yard receiving season. He finished the year with a relatively disappointing 998 yards and four touchdowns on 73 catches, and Cruz’s six drops were among the most for a receiver in the league.