The injury-plagued forward revealed a minor problem had convinced coach Gerardo Martino to leave him among the replacements but believes he is ready to hit the ground running now.
Asked about his absence from the starting line-up, Santa Cruz said: "It's very hard to pick players from our team, we are players playing in hard leagues and anybody can play.
"After the last friendly I finished with some discomfort in my leg and then, of course, as we have such good players there is no need to risk anything.
"I was not really 100 per cent. I had a muscle problem and didn't know if I could play from the beginning, so I think the coach took the best solution and the right choice.
"It's been the story with injuries through all my career, not just this season! It's disappointing but something I've lived with through my career."