The former Manchester United man joined Nottingham Forest on loan in January, and played six games for the Championship side.
He has just one year left on his contract, and he has hinted that he may leave the club in the summer in search of regular football.
"I've got a year left here and you just don't know what will happen. You want to be playing, but ultimately that's something that will be decided for me," the 33-year-old told The Sentinel.
"I'd love to stay but if you're not playing it can be frustrating. Your career is soon over and you want to play in as many games as you can while you can.
"In the short term I'll train with the rest of the lads this season to keep my fitness up. And because I had so long out with the injury, I'll probably have just a week or two to myself in the summer to make sure I'm ready to go for pre-season training."
Higginbotham joined Stoke in 2008.