But White reiterated on Wednesday following the post-event news conference for UFC Fight Night 27 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis that Silva was injured.
"He's not going to be healthy till January," White said. "He can't even start training till January."
So that rules him out of the running for UFC 167, which takes place Nov. 16 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
White said Sonnen, who recently has challenged for titles in both the middleweight and light heavyweight very likely could wind up getting his wish to fight on the card – and hinted that a recent Davis callout of Sonnen could lead to a pairing of the two in a light heavyweight bout.
"We talked a little bit tonight," White said of Sonnen. "He wants to fight on that 20th anniversary card. He wants to co-main that (card). I'm working on it. That fight (against Phil Davis) could happen."
Prior to Sonnen's win over Rua, he dropped a light heavyweight title fight to champ Jon Jones. Before that, he was stopped in the second by Anderson Silva in a middleweight title rematch.
Davis, meanwhile, is coming off a split-decision win over former champion that gave him a three-fight winning streak.