Naitauni was initially expected to miss the entire 2017 season after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament against Hawthorn in Round 22 this season.
However, the ruckman says he is hopeful of playing next season as he continues what has so far been a complication free recovery process.
“I think that’s (round 15 or 16) just a date that Simmo’s (coach Adam Simpson) thrown out, but I’ll aim to look to around then,” Naitanui said.
“But we’ll take it, like it is every time, week-by-week and see how we’re progressing.
“Myself and Scotty Lycett (PCL reconstruction) have been working pretty closely together so it’s good to have a partner in rehab.”
Naiatnui said he believes that despite the absence of both himself and fellow ruckman Scott Lycett, the side can be a force next year.
“I think whether we get it done by hand or not from the ruck perspective, the younger mids and the older mids will get it done I reckon,” Naitanui said. “We’ll be right.”