Higginbotham happy to help out

BY foxsports • April 13, 2011

Higginbotham scored the winning goal in the Potters' quarter-final triumph over West Ham last month but a cruciate ligament injury sustained in the 1-1 draw with Chelsea has put him on the sidelines for the rest of the season and beyond. Higginbotham, who was an unused substitute for Southampton in their FA Cup final defeat by Arsenal in 2003, is one of the most experienced players in Stoke's squad and Pulis immediately earmarked the 32-year-old for an important role off the pitch this weekend. He told The Sentinel: "The gaffer really wants me to be there around the lads. I wasn't 100% sure, but I think I will look back and realise it was the right thing to be among them. Anything I can do to help the lads out, I'll do it because it's not about me. "It won't be easy watching the game because I've been 15 years a pro and the opportunity to play at Wembley doesn't come along very often. "But I'm desperate for us to win - and no-one would be happier than me if we do and get to the final." Higginbotham sustained the injury in a innocuous-looking collision with Chelsea keeper Petr Cech and is set to go under the knife on April 27. He added: "The surgeon says that from the day of the operation you are looking at six to eight months out. I'm not on crutches at the moment but I soon will be again and I know I have a tough rehabilitation ahead. "But at least after I have the op our physios will be able to set targets, which will help me along the road to recovery."

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