The club's top scorer for last season suffered a knee injury in February, which required surgery later in the year.
McCarthy told BBC Radio Suffolk: "Only when he's ready will I play him. Only when he and the physio tell me he's ready.
"I'd sooner him miss the first month of the season - and I'm not saying he will - and play the next nine, as opposed to rushing him back and him being out for three months with niggly injuries."
The 26-year-old is yet to play since suffering the injury and is a doubt for Ipswich's opening match of the season against Fulham.
McGoldrick scored 16 goals in 34 appearances last season, but his best goal scoring season was for Coventry City, where he scored 17 goals in 25 matches.