A strong Jambos team, which included the likes of Oliver Bozanic and Harry Cochrane, strolled to a 3-1 win against St Mirren.
The Irishman featured in maroon for the first time as he looks to get up to full match fitness.
Three goals in the second half were enough for the Jambos, who had been pegged back through an earlier Buddies strike.
Whelan will add to the Hearts squad nicely
Whelan could have made his Hearts debut last week against Motherwell. He was named on the bench, but Craig Levein opted not to use the experienced midfielder.
It’s a big plus for Hearts that he is seemingly nearing full match fitness. Having missed out on pre-season following his Villa departure, it’s important that Whelan is treated carefully on his return to action.
Having played 35 league matches last term in a competitive Aston Villa squad that won promotion to the Premier League, there’s no doubting that the 35-year-old looks after himself.
He is a player who could really help Hearts right now. They are still lacking a quality CDM following Peter Haring’s pelvis issue. Whelan has plenty of defensive qualities and passing ability that’ll make him a great CDM at Tynecastle.
His reserves appearance is an important step on the road to fitness. His senior Hearts debut is on the horizon.