The 32-year-old played half a season for the Black Cats during their ill-fated 2017/18 campaign, scoring just twice before departing for Wigan Athletic.
And having endured a nomadic existence since, the striker finally seems to have found a home at Tranmere Rovers
Indeed, he has scored 21 times in 33 appearances this season and was set to lead the line at Wembley against his former club on March 14.
But having missed the Prenton Park outfit’s 1-0 defeat to Crawley on Saturday, manager Keith Hill confirmed that the striker would undergo surgery on a knee injury on Tuesday – ruling him out of the final.
It’s a blow for Tranmere, who have at times relied heavily upon his goal this term.
Pacy strike Kayne Woolery may start in his place next weekend.