The Englishman has returned to his home near the south coast to ponder his future after a season-long stay in Edinburgh which brought 11 appearances and two goals.
He did not manage to command a regular starting place in the Hearts first team after signing a one-year deal last August. His inconsistent form was partly attributable to feeling unsettled off the field.
With his wife and family at home in Exeter and travel restrictions limiting movement across Britain, the 30-year-old spent long periods alone in Scotland. That affected his morale and Hearts have taken the decision to let him return home.
“He has gone back down south,” manager Robbie Neilson confirmed to the Evening News today. “He is a great boy who suffered because of the circumstances. The original plan was that his wife and kid would travel up and down but the Covid restrictions meant they couldn't do that.
“Elliott ended up stuck up here on his own and very rarely got to see his family. It was really difficult for him.
“He played his part in a Championship-winning season so for that he should be proud of himself. It’s just the way the world has been for the last few months, it made it tough for a lot of the boys.”
Frear is now effectively a free agent and will look to join a new club closer to home ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.