The 21-year-old has endured a torrid time with injury over the last 15 months which has sidelined him just after his career appeared set for lift-off after he made his Scotland two years ago next month in the 3-0 win over the Faroe Islands.
Firstly, the versatile defender suffered an Achilles tendon injury during a Scotland Under-21 match in August 2011 that ruled him out for eight months.
He made his return to action in April 2012 as a substitute in a 1-1 draw with Hibs and it looked as if he was back on course.
However, a knee injury sustained during pre-season forced him to go under the knife again.
But now the player can finally see the light at the end of a long tunnel and has started light training again.
He admitted: "It has been a frustrating time, but the positive thing was that I had been through a lot worse last season with the Achilles injury.
"To be told in August that your season is over is a tough one to take, but what that did do was to make it easier to cope with the knee injury this time around.
"Now I have started running and have an appointment with a knee specialist in a fortnight and hopefully after that I will get the green light to kick on in training.
"The target is to be back before Christmas and I am very positive about my prospects of achieving that."
Saunders, however, admits he will find it tough to reclaim a starting slot, with youngsters like Adam Cummings, Fraser Kerr and, of course, Shaun Hutchinson all sezing their chances in the first team set-up.
Saunders said: "We have a lot of good young defenders and competition at the back is intense. But I have belief in my own ability to come back and the hunger is very much there."
The young stopper looked on in anguish as Well slipped to only their second defeat of the SPL season at Hearts on Sunday, but he has no doubt a rapid return to action at Fir Park on Friday night against Hibs is a major plus.
Saunders said: "Any player will tell you that after a defeat the sooner you are back in action the better.
"There was a lot of frustration after the Hearts defeat, but we have to use that frustration as a motivation to bounce back with three points against Hibs."