Carlton will welcome Sam Walsh back "into the fold" for his first game of the season against Adelaide on Saturday, with coach Michael Voss declaring he's fully fit.

Despite Walsh's history and recently overcoming a back injury, Voss said there was no need to ease the 23-year-old into the game, and if there was, he wouldn't be playing.

“No, no, he's fit, healthy – never put someone out there who's not ready to go, (and) he's more than ready to go,” Voss said to reporters on Friday.

"It's nice to have him back in the fold. He's been able to get through what he needed to and it's great to have him back in the team.

"We understand he's got a role to play. He doesn't have to be anything else other than get his job done for us and we know what that looks like for him when he does."

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 08: Sam Walsh of the Blues in action during the 2023 AFL First Elimination Final match between the Carlton Blues and the Sydney Swans at Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 08, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Although the 2023 Gary Ayres medallist's inclusion will add another dynamic to the midfield brigade, Voss doesn't think it'll fix "the bigger picture" issue that has plagued the Blues in the early stages of the year.

In 2024, Carlton ranks 17th for average clearances per game (33) and has a differential of -27 in games against Brisbane, Richmond, North Melbourne and Fremantle, with the latter dominating by a discrepancy of 17.

“I don't want to underestimate Sam Walsh's influence on our team, but if we think he's the difference, we're certainly going down the wrong path, that's for sure,” Voss said.

“We've taken a squad mentality into everything that we've done, and we appreciate that there's one person who can step in and be able to have a good role in that.

“Sam coming in helps us a little bit with that, but at the same time we can't be thinking that's the fix for us, that's part of a bigger picture.”

Across the past two seasons, the Blues have been top eight in the competition for average clearances, boasting a group including 2022 Brownlow medallist Patrick Cripps, Adam Cerra, Matthew Kennedy and George Hewett alongside Walsh.

Despite Carlton's dip in stoppage dominance, and in turn, scores from stoppage, Voss' men are finding new ways to hit the scoreboard, which has been a proven method when it comes to the crunch time of finals.

So far this season, the Blues rank fifth in intercepts (72.3 per game) with a differential of +31 in their four victories.

2023 2024
Points For from Turnover 42.9 (14th) 62.0 (2nd)
Points Against From Turnover 44.8 (7th) 35.0 (2nd)
Differential -1.9 (11th) 27 (1st)

(According to Champion Data).

"I think it's about having a balanced profile, we don't want to be particularly weighted in one area" Voss said.

"You need to know what you're good at and for us, having that time in the front half, however, that turns out, whether that's stoppages or turnovers, we'd like both of them to come together."

Carlton's 4-0 start is the best return since its premiership-winning season in 1995 and despite three close wins that could've gone either way, the "trust" built amongst the group is becoming hard to deny for the opposition.

"It's intangible," Voss said.

"I spoke to the group after (the Fremantle game) and spoke about trust. It's a hard thing to establish so when you get in those moments and guys start to simplify what they have to do and can just focus on their job done and not have to worry about the guy beside them... it takes a long time to get there.

"It takes a lot of training. It takes a lot of failure, mistakes and then being able to correct those.

"So hopefully we can stand up when they present themselves but there's no guarantee we'll get through the next one but it certainly does give great belief."

After recording a record-breaking membership tally of 95,278, Carlton will look to remain undefeated when they host Adelaide at Marvel Stadium on Saturday.