Socceroos winger Robbie Kruse is set to be rushed back for Sunday’s Big Blue, as Melbourne Victory coach Marco Kurz bids to galvanise his absentee-ravaged team.
Beset by a hamstring injury, Kruse, 31, is yet to kick a ball in anger since returning from Germany for his second spell with the Navy Blues during the off-season.
But with Storm Roux (New Zealand), Kenny Athiu (South Sudan), Elvis Kamsoba (Burundi) and Thomas Deng (Olyroos) all on international duty and Andrew Nabbout and Tim Hoogland injured, Kurz is preparing to gamble on an under-done Kruse for the trip to face Sydney FC.
Seventh-placed Victory - with only a single win so far this season - have been crippled by a lack of creativity and an over reliance on Swedish marquee Ola Toivonen.
Kurz is hoping the injection of Kruse can help kick-start their spluttering campaign before the drift towards mediocrity is allowed to take root.
Kruse played 36 games for the club between 2009 and 2011, scoring 16 A-League goals, before heading to Germany where he had spells with Fortuna Düsseldorf, Bayer Levurkusen, Stuttgart and most recently VfL Bochum.
His homecoming was touted by many as a panacea for Victory as they looked to rebuild under Kurz, and there’s no doubt the absence of the 75-cap Socceroo has been keenly felt with a sense of stagnation surrounding the club in the early weeks of the season.