The Socceroos duo are both out injured at the moment but they are still hoping to feature at next year's tournament in Russia for their country.
Goalkeeper Federici is out with a knee injury which he suffered during international duty and his loan spell at Nottingham Forest was cut short.
Right-back Smith has been out with a hip injury since October and both are set to be on the sidelines for the next few weeks at least.
Australia booked their place in the World Cup finals after beating Honduras and Howe insists both will be given the time to get fit and be ready for the tournament.
He told the Daily Echo: "Both boys are still recovering from their injuries. Adam is making good progress and I don’t think he is too far from joining in training with us.
"Brad is further back. We haven’t seen him out on the grass yet, so he has quite a long journey ahead of him. He has several hurdles to overcome.
"Certainly around the Christmas period, we will hopefully get him back involved and then he has a period of time to try to prove his worth for the World Cup."