The impending return of rebounder Zac Williams is set to serve the Blues on two fronts in 2024, with the former Giant acting as the key to Carlton co-captain making a full-time midfield shift.

Williams, 29, is just weeks away from returning to full training at Princes Park after tearing his ACL ahead of the 2023 season.

A noted dasher off half-back, the tattooed rebounder is already turning heads, according to Docherty.

"He looked awesome out there today," Docherty told Nine News.

"You sort of forget, when guys miss for 12 months, how good they are. (I'm) excited to see the impact he'll have on our group."

In Williams' absence, the Blues enjoyed a spectacular second half to the 2023 season, bolting to within a win away from a Cinderella grand final appearance.

Steering alongside Patrick Cripps, Docherty made the move into midfield down the straight to September, averaging 25.5 disposals per game and booting a career-high eight goals on the year.

And while it was injuries that saw Docherty shift up the ground, the fan favourite stated that Williams' return would keep him in the engine room.

"It'll be the same sort of role for me this year," Docherty added.

"Obviously with Zaccy coming back off 12 months out, it does take some time to get some confidence, so sticking him in a position he knows (will help)."

Williams has made just 23 appearances in his three seasons as a Blue, with a litany of leg injuries acting as a recurring bane.

Carlton will commence its season on Friday, March 8 when they travel to face Brisbane at the Gabba in the AFL's inagural Opening Round.