Melbourne Victory striker Robbie Kruse will miss another week due to injury with the club yet to set a date for his return.
Kruse was ruled out of last week’s Melbourne derby with a hamstring injury and did not train with the squad in their last session ahead of the match against the Western Sydney Wanderers.
Victory head coach Marco Kurz believes the 31-year-old had been “struggling all pre-season” with injury and is training individually with the club’s strength and conditioning team.
“At the moment he’s not available, he’s in rehab training one-on-one with the physio and with our strength and fitness coach,” Kurz said.
“It’s not fair to set up a [time]line because he might come back earlier, but injuries need time.
The club also confirmed on Wednesday the extent of German import Tim Hoogland’s injury, with the 34-year-old straining his quad in the final session before last week’s Melbourne derby.
“We are disappointed but I’m more disappointed for [Hoogland] because he had a really great pre-season for us,” Kurz said.
“But he will come back in good shape, he’s a good player. It’s part of our job and injuries are part of the business, so it’s another chance for another player to perform.”
The Victory will host a Wanderers outfit buoyed by a come-from-behind win against the Central Coast Mariners to christen their new home.
History favours the Victory in this fixture, who are unbeaten in their last 11 matches against the Wanderers – having won the last five.
But Kurz believes the Wanderers have strengthened well over the off-season and find themselves in a similar position to the Victory, making this an intriguing contest.
“They’re a strong team they made really good singings,” Kurz said.
“Maybe they have a few of the same problems we do to get players fit, they have a strong offensive line with [Mitchell] Duke and [Alexander] Meier and they play a new system to last season.”
Melbourne Victory host the Western Sydney Wanderers on Friday 18 October at Marvel Stadium.