Danny Higginbotham will answer Stoke boss Tony Pulis' call to arms, but admits watching Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Bolton is not an experience he is looking forward to.

The defender 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.

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."

He added: "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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