The 31-year-old pitched a simulated game Tuesday at Chase Field and came out of it saying he felt he's ready to start right away for the D-backs. Saunders has been on the disabled list since June 23, retroactive to June 17, with shoulder inflammation.
"He's not real happy about it but I think that's the safe way to do it," manager Kirk Gibson said of Saunders making a rehab outing. "We want him back for the long term. We all want him back in the rotation but we think this is the way we're going to go."
The D-backs have not announced where Saunders will make the start, but Gibson said if it goes well, he should rejoin the rotation when the season resumes after the break.
Saunders is 4-5 with a 3.44 ERA on the season.