Bent had been expected to start alongside Wayne Rooney in tonight's European Championship qualifier with Montenegro at Wembley.
However, Sunderland's leading goalscorer has been ruled out with a groin strain that makes him an immediate doubt for the Black Cats' Premier League clash at Blackburn on Monday.
With an extra two days to recover, however, Bruce is hopeful the striker will be fit, although he is waiting for the player to return.
"Benty's had a scan and England have confirmed he won't play any part tonight," Bruce told Sunderland's official website.
"We're hoping it's not too serious, but Darren's still with England at the moment so we won't put any timescales until our own medical team have had a chance to assess the injury."