Accordingly, all parties were satisfied that the cast did not pose a danger to other players - although the Ivory Coast coach Sven-Goran Eriksson decided not to risk him from the start at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
"Everybody knows what Drogba is for Chelsea and for us - he's a great player," said Eriksson ahead of the match.
He added: "[But] we have a lot of good players who are strong and have good technique.
"We're in a difficult group with Portugal, Brazil and North Korea, but the boys are working very hard."
Drogba required surgery after fracturing his arm in Sion, Switzerland, in a collision with Japan defender Marcus Tulio Tanaka - three minutes after the forward had opened the scoring with a 13th-minute deflected free-kick.
Afterwards, Eriksson refused to blame Tanaka for the incident.
"It was unlucky," the 62-year-old former England boss said at the time.
"It wasn't bad or stupid. He didn't want to hurt anyone. Football is a game of contact."
At the 1970 World Cup, Germany defender Franz Beckenbauer wore a sling in the semi-final against Italy having dislocated his shoulder during the match, while England striker Gary Lineker sported a cast to protect a broken wrist during the 1986 competition.
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