Sunderland striker Fraizer Campbell has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after a setback with his knee injury.
The former Manchester United forward made just four appearances for the Black Cats this term before suffering damaged cruciate ligaments against Manchester City back in August.
There had been hopes that he would return to first-team action this month after making a reserve comeback in March, but those have now been dashed.
The 23-year-old requires further surgery to discover the extent of the damage after twisting his knee, ironically in the run-up to the return fixture against City at the start of April.
Bruce told the club's official website: "Fraizer is likely to have to go back and see the specialist who operated on him previously.
"He'll open the knee up and have a look to see how things are."
Meanwhile, Bruce fears goalkeeper Craig Gordon will also need knee surgery.
The 28-year-old has been an unused substitute for the last five Premier League games after returning early from Scotland duty because of the injury.
Swedish specialist Professor Hakan Alfredson prescribed an exercise programme to help strengthen the ligaments, and Gordon will fly to Scandinavia once again next week to see if that has done the trick.
Bruce added: "Craig sees the specialist next week. He has been following an exercise programme, so we will see what he has to say.
"Given the way the season's going, I wouldn't be surprised to see Craig having an operation too, to be honest. We will have to wait and see."
However, Bruce was hoping for better news of central defender Titus Bramble as he visited his own specialist.
The 29-year-old looked certain to miss the rest of the season after damaging a knee cartilage, but reports coming out of the Stadium of Light in recent days have suggested he might yet play again before the end of the campaign.