Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones is facing a month on the sidelines after picking up a groin injury against Manchester City on Sunday.
Jones headed his side into an early lead at the Stadium of Light but was substituted at half-time.
City snatched a stoppage-time equaliser through Sunderland-born Adam Johnson to further rub salt into Black Cats boss Steve Bruce's wounds.
"We were just getting up a head of steam and getting a settled team and another one of our big players looks as if he is going to be out for at least a month," he said.
Speaking about the late disappointment, Bruce added: "I think we've got to say it's a fair result overall, but when you get so close, obviously it's disappointing.
"The injury to Kenwyne disrupted us. We lost him through injury, that's the story of our season so far. We've lost too many through injury.
"We are a threat with (Darren) Bent and Jones up front and he has been playing some of the best football I have seen since I've been here.
"It has disrupted us and when you get so close. I think it's 10 points we have lost this season late on so it's hard to take."