The Scotland striker has endured a miserable campaign with ankle, shoulder and Achilles injuries, and his latest setback is another ankle knock which means it is unlikely he will return this season.
And with Gus Poyet's side facing relegation, the £12m forward could be on his way to another club this summer, too. The Uruguayan was holding on to some hope Fletcher could mount a recovery, but that now looks forlorn.
"It's not good and it's going to be difficult for Fletcher to return," Poyet said. "But we're trying our best to use him, whether it's possible for one game, two games or three games. Imagine if we had him for the final week of the season - that would be three games.
"I'm not going to give up on him, but maybe that's me. At the moment though, it's difficult to say."