MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 12: Blake Acres of the Blues (L) celebrates with Charlie Curnow of the Blues after kicking a goal during the round 22 AFL match between Carlton Blues and Melbourne Demons at Melbourne Cricket Ground, on August 12, 2023, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Carlton wingman Blake Acres isn't expected to be part of Carlton's main training group until the new year following an off-season shoulder procedure.

Acres was left hampered by a shoulder issue in the Blues' thrilling semi-final win over Melbourne in mid-September, however was able to play out the match and would go on to kick the winning goal that saw Michael Voss' side progress to a preliminary final.

The former St Kilda and Fremantle midfielder was cleared to play in the penultimate game of the year, with Acres featuring in all but one match in Carlton's 26-game campaign after a mostly healthy season.

The shoulder issue from Acres' finals campaign is set to impact his pre-season program for the 2024 season however, with 7 News revealing on Monday that the 28-year-old is currently training on a modified program.

Acres isn't expected to return to full fitness by January after undergoing a shoulder procedure during the off-season.

"Blake Acres is on lighter duties following a shoulder procedure," reporter Laura Spurway revealed.

"He'll build back to full training by January."

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 16: Blake Acres of the Blues looks dejected after a draw during the 2023 AFL Round 01 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Carlton Blues at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 16, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

The Blues are set to enter 2024 with a fairly clean bill of health as defender Zac Williams looks to return from an ACL injury ahead of Carlton's season opener.

The former Giant sustained the season-ending setback earlier this year and is likely to reach full fitness by February.

Carlton recruit Orazio Fantasia is set to undergo a "steady approach" in his push for a starting role under Voss following several injury-hit seasons.

Veteran Sam Docherty (foot) and forward Corey Durdin (shoulder) both underwent off-season surgery but neither are facing interrupted starts for the 2024 season.

Irish recruit Matt Duffy is expected to miss the entire 2024 season after recently sustaining an ACL injury playing for Gaelic side Dromard. He won't be joining the club before the new year.

Carlton's 2024 campaign is set to commence with a trip to face Brisbane at the Gabba as part of the Opening Round fixture.