Robbie's Krusey recovery

Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick says striker Robbie Kruse is on track for an earlier-than-expected return from a torn thigh muscle.

Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick says striker Robbie Kruse is on track for an earlier-than-expected return from a torn thigh muscle.

It was initially feared Kruse could miss a month after hobbling from Etihad Stadium against Gold Coast last weekend, but Merrick said the 22-year-old could even be back against Central Coast Mariners at AAMI Park next Thursday.

"His recovery has been faster than expected. The day after the game he was actually out running. He is coming along really well and is close," the Victory coach said.

"He might not make the Mariners … but he just might. He is looking much sharper at training," he said.

The news isn't as positive for fellow striker Ricardinho, whose knee injury is taking longer to heal than first predicted.

The Brazilian will miss at least another fortnight, compounding the current striker shortage at the club, as the coach is not sure Archie Thompson is ready to start a game just yet.

Merrick said finding some firepower had been an important focus at training this week ahead of Sunday's clash with Perth Glory.

"Not only have our strikers got to take their opportunity but we have been working on the attacking midfielders at training to get forward and into goal scoring positions," Merrick said following Thursday's training session at Olympic Park.

Marvin Angulo could start up front in place of Kruse while moving Tom Pondeljak forward after his success in a wide midfield role was another option being considered.

Merrick said Carlos Hernandez had plenty more to offer after he was well held in the 1-0 loss to Gold Coast last weekend.

"I felt as though he had to be more mobile up in the front and work off of strikers more. But when Archie came on I thought there was a big improvement because he has a fantastic relationship with Archie," Merrick said.