Melbourne Victory defender Matthew Kemp is close to returning to the first team after nine months out because of a knee injury.

The 30-year old went down in last season's February 5 clash with North Queensland Fury and has been on the road to recovery ever since.

Victory coach Ernie Merrick said that the former Adelaide United star got some game time for the youth team on the weekend and could be back for the Week 16 trip to take on Wellington Phoenix on November 27.

"We restricted him (Kemp) to 60 minutes in the youth team (on Saturday) and apparently he did very well, but you've got to recover from that and I don't think I would bring him in just yet," Merrick said.

"It's just a bit too early. But the game after (Central Coast Mariners) perhaps."

The two-time A-League champions meet the Mariners this Thursday before having the weekend off ahead of their trip to New Zealand the following week.