Portsmouth goalkeeper David James will undergo a shoulder operation this week which will rule him out of England's World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Andorra.
England are already without Ben Foster for the games in Almaty on June 6 and at Wembley on June 10 after the Manchester United keeper was sidelined with a thumb injury.
James had been an ever-present for Portsmouth in the league before today but woke up yesterday morning with a stiff neck and the club medics could not relieve the problem.
Bosnian goalkeeper Asmir Begovic made an assured debut in goal as Portsmouth piled the pressure on Sunderland with a 3-1 victory.
The Black Cats would have secured their Premiership status with a victory and took a 1-0 lead through Kenwyne Jones.
But Portsmouth hit straight back through John Utaka who pounced on a loose ball to rifle his first goal of the season.
And seven minutes later, Phil Bardsley scored an own goal as he tried to halt Utaka, who had escaped into the box again after a howler from Anton Ferdinand.
As Sunderland piled forward in search of an equaliser, half-time replacement Armand Traore drilled home Portsmouth's third three minutes from time.
Sunderland's bid for top-flight survival will now go down to the wire, with Chelsea heading to the Stadium of Light next Sunday.
The one consolation for the Black Cats is that their destiny remains in their own hands, with Sunderland one point ahead of Hull City and two up on Newcastle United.
Hull host Manchester United on the final day while Newcastle head to Aston Villa.
Manager Ricky Sbragia said: ''I thought the first goal was a bit unlucky but the second goal was a bad error and that killed us off. Anton tried to control the ball with the sole of his boot. He is better than that.
''I thought in the first half we did reasonably well and created a few chances but it was the same old story, we didn't finish them.
''We went 1-0 up and really we should try and see the game off but we didn't do that.
''The boys are down. We came here and thought we had the chance to get something. We created chances but didn't take them and they come back to punish you.''