Jack Ross was hopeful earlier this week that Duncan Watmore could provide him with a potential wildcard in the second leg of the play-off semi final next week.
Watmore has been out of action since early March, suffering a serious ankle injury just moments after scoring his first league goal of the season against Wycombe Wanderers.
The winger returned to full training on Thursday and while Saturday's first leg against Portsmouth will come too soon, the 25-year-old could feature if the Black Cats need him at Fratton Park in seven days time.
Here's how Sunderland fans reacted to the news.
@SuperFazza: "Keep Watmore as an impact super-sub"
@DanielJenks89: "I hope Watmore is not being rushed back too soon?"
@Mr_Cookies_45: "Disaster. May as well have Loovens on the wing"
@Steve_Wright81: "Leave him until next season"
@MattyCain2: "Not good"
"Duncan returned to training with the whole group today, although it is too early for him to be involved on Saturday," said Sunderland manager Jack Ross.
"He could possibly come into contention next week depending on how we need to approach the game, what we might need from the game, and how he is feeling."
The Sunderland Echo asked Cats fans directly if they'd like to see the former England U21 international utilised by Ross in the play-offs should Sunderland need an injection of pace and positivity in the final third.
@fisheechris: "Fingers crossed, one of my favourites. I hope he will recover completely and stay with us as we need him"
@jpsleightholme7: "Is this meant to be good news???"
@siethomp: "Plagued by injury.. Never really done anything for us. He’s to fast for himself. stats don’t lie!"
@happymakem1: Looking forward in seeing him play as on his day he is perfect for his position. That he doesn't get injured again,an a valuable player to the team.
@wellsy2705: "For the love of god no"
@SAFCFANSVIEW: "No. He was hopeless earlier in season"