McDonald has long hoped for a chance at senior level and could now achieve his ambition after being named in the squad to face Germany.
"Everyone wants to play for their country," he said. "That is part of life. It would be a great honour. I got some caps at under-21 level but I never got called upon after those games. Maybe I wasn't performing as well as I could have been when I was at Burnley. But I have moved on and I feel so much better as a player and a person now than I was three or four years ago. I have got all the experience behind me now."
Gordon Strachan, the national team manager, has a wealth of options available in midfield, and McDonald knows that he has his work cut out to earn a place.
"When they are playing you are watching them and it is the best part of the team," he admitted. "They have got a solid midfield and then you look at the players on the bench and in the squad. So it is a hard one to get into. That would make it even better so if it comes I would be delighted and over the moon with it. But I just have to keep doing what I do and see where it takes me."
Andrew Robertson, the Hull City left-back who was also named in Strachan's squad, admitted his international prospects were at the forefront of his decision to move from Dundee United this summer. The prestige of playing at the highest level, he reasoned, would mean he was more likely to be involved.
Robertson, who earned two caps in his year at Tannadice, has settled in well in Hull, playing at the left of a five-man midfield against Stoke City at the weekend before dropping back to defence after James Chester was sent off. "Competing at the highest level helps when playing for Scotland," Robertson said. "By playing with and against better quality players it does help.
"Your concentration levels have to be higher and you need to go for a full 90 minutes. It was an easy decision joining Hull and it was fully justified after meeting the lads."