DARREN BARR has returned to training with Hearts following a virus and should be involved in the club’s final pre-season friendly against Rotherham United this weekend.
The 27-year-old missed recent outings against Falkirk and Dunfermline through the illness but his recovery has gone to plan and he is now expected to take part on Saturday, when Hearts travel to South Yorkshire.
Barr played in Hearts’ opening pre-season match against Raith Rovers, when captain Marius Zaliukas was absent through a virus. Since then the defender has been missing and will be eager to feature against Rotherham to hone his fitness before the opening SPL match of the season against St Johnstone.
Danny Grainger is suspended for that match due to bookings he incurred towards the end of last season. With Jamie Hamill also recovering from a cruciate ligament injury, defensive options are conspicuous by their absence for Hearts manager John McGlynn.
Teenage full-backs Callum Paterson and Kevin McHattie have been heavily involved in the pre-season campaign and that is likely to continue against Rotherham. McGlynn sees McHattie as a capable deputy for Grainger, whilst Paterson’s performances at right-back have been impressive so far despite him being only 17 years old.