Full-back ready for pre-season
Stoke defender Danny Higginbotham is ahead of schedule with his return from back surgery and will take a full part in pre-season.
The full-back missed the end of last season because of an operation but his rehab has gone to plan much to the 30-year-old's delight.
He told the Sentinel: "Everything is fine now apart from a little bit of stiffness, but that's just 'pre-season pain' from all the running I've been doing.
"It's a relief to be sorted. When I had the operation, they told me I could be out for three months, so I'm the right side of that.
"If you miss pre-season then you are always playing catch up and sometimes you don't make that up until towards the end of the season."