Steven Naismith plays as Hearts win 7-1 in closed-door game

Steven Naismith played as a trialist for Hearts in a closed-door game against St Mirren at Riccarton on Monday afternoon.

Tuesday, 30th July 2019, 10:49 am
Steven Naismith played as a trialist for Hearts in a closed-door match on Monday

The Scotland forward and midfielder Olly Lee are returning from injury and both managed just over an hour as a largely inexperienced home side won 7-1. Their goalscorers were Euan Henderson, Aidan Keena (2), Lee, Lewis Moore, Rory Currie and Alex Petkov.

Hearts hope to sign Naismith permanently before they travel to Aberdeen for Sunday's opening Ladbrokes Premiership match. He is a free agent after leaving Norwich City but is due a final payment from them provided he does not join another club before the end of this month.

The 32-year-old has trained with Hearts this summer after recovering from knee surgery in the spring. His last competitive outing was on February 27 this year during his season-long loan at Tynecastle Park.

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Manager Craig Levein must now decide whether to take him to Pittodrie. "Naisy and Olly are both on the way back. We've been pretty careful with Steven but he has done a lot of training. He played for an hour and was comfortable at that," Levein told the Evening News.

"The weekend might be a bit soon but I will get a better idea over the next day or so how he is. When I spoke to him after the match, he was fine and didn't feel anything from his knee. That was the most important thing. We will need to see what reaction he gets over the next day or two."

Lee's future remains uncertain as he looks to return to England 12 months after joining Hearts from Luton Town. Southend United have been credited with an interest in the 28-year-old.