The midfielder has not played in the Premier League since early December after damaging his knee but returned to action from the substitutes' bench for the Black Cats' 2-0 defeat to Bolton Wanderers in the third round of the FA Cup.
"He had a bit of a setback there," BBC Sport quotes manager Martin O'Neill as saying. "We are certainly hoping it's not as long as it was before, that would be terrible. But it is a setback and I would say he would be doubtful for tomorrow."
The North-East side currently sit six points away from the relegation zone in the league table.