Carlton star forward Harry McKay will be fit and firing for the Blues come the beginning of pre-season after undergoing shoulder surgery in August.

The procedure placed the 23-year-old on the sidelines for the Blues' final two matches of the year, with his 58 goals enough to hold onto the Coleman Medal.

McKay joined key-defender Liam Jones in requiring surgery late into Carlton's 2021 campaign, with the club pulling the trigger on having the pair go under the knife as their finals hopes were dissipated.

With another busy off-season of recruiting and newly-appointed senior coach Michael Voss now at the wheel, Carlton have once again been lifted with optimism for the season ahead.

To aid their preparations, McKay will be back on the track for training with a full pre-season in his sights as he looks to defend his title.

“The body is really good, the shoulder is pretty close to 100 per cent now which is nice,” McKay told The Herald Sun. 

“It has been a pretty good summer so far, being able to train, and I am really enjoying getting to work. I would be playing now if the season was up and running.”

AFL Rd 7 - Essendon v Carlton
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 02: Harry McKay of the Blues celebrates a goal during the 2021 AFL Round 07 match between the Essendon Bombers and the Carlton Blues at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 02, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

In the months following the Blues' 13th placed finish, the club has undergone a facelift both on and off the field.

Along with Voss' appointment, the Blues have bolstered their football department with the addition of long-serving Geelong chief executive Brian Cook as their CEO, while Aaron Hamill, Tim Clarke and Ashley Hansen have also joined as assistant coaches.

The Blues were active in the player market too, adding Dockers gun Adam Cerra, Sydney midfielder George Hewett and Bulldogs defender Lewis Young to their list.

PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA - APRIL 21: Adam Cerra of the Dockers celebrates after scoring a goal during the round five AFL match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Western Bulldogs at Optus Stadium on April 21, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/AFL Media/Getty Images)

The impressive off-season of recruiting has once again placed high expectations on the Blues for 2022, with president Luke Sayers stating after the departure of coach David Teague that the club expects to be part of the September action next year.

Carlton were able to secure the signatures of McKay and co-captain Patrick Cripps this year, with 2021 John Nicholls Medal winner and All-Australian midfielder Sam Walsh now to be a focal retention signing for the Princes Park club in the coming months.

Walsh will be off-contract in 2022 and is likely to warrant a substantial deal with Carlton given his meteoric rise with the Blues across his first three seasons in the league.