The Sunderland striker was anointed as the player to lead the national team's attack after Kenny Miller went into international retirement earlier this season, yet the 26-year-old will not be able to shoulder the responsibility until that part of his anatomy has healed fully.
Fletcher was injured while playing for his club side last Saturday, a 3-0 defeat away to West Bromich Albion. Tests have since suggested that he will not be able to return to action in time to play for Gordon Strachan's side at Hampden on October 15. The mood around the Stadium of Light have been decidedly brighter, though.
"The news is better than we expected," said Kevin Ball, the interim head coach. "Hopefully, it will be four to six weeks, which is great news."