Hearts: Andy Driver to get run-out in testimonial clash

ANDY DRIVER will play for the first time this season on Monday evening as part of a Hearts XI facing Dunbar United in a testimonial match for long-serving Geoff Jones.

The winger is to receive a gentle introduction to season 2011/12 after being hampered by persistent injury problems over the last two years.

He will feature at New Countess Park in a tribute game for Dunbar's player of the year last season, which kicks off at 7.30pm.

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Hearts depart for Hungary the following morning to prepare for their Europa League third qualifying round first leg against Paksi SE on Thursday evening. Driver, however, is not expected to make the journey. His return from injury will be taken slowly as club medical staff remain determined not to rush back one of their most influential players.

Billy Brown, the Hearts assistant manager, admitted that change within the Tynecastle squad is inevitable each year but established faces like Driver are important to maintain continuity.

"Our squad has changed a bit," said Brown. "We've lost one or two experienced SPL players in Bouzid and Palazuelos, but we've added with guys who have proved themselves in the SPL. It's given us a wee bit of freshness about the dressing room. We think we are still short in one or two places, but who isn't?"

After making only 14 appearances last season, and 14 the year before, Driver will be determined to prove his fitness and regain his place in the Hearts side.