Drogba cleared to play with cast against Portugal

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa (AP) -- Didier Drogba has been cleared by FIFA to play in Ivory Coast's World Cup opener Tuesday against Portugal.

Drogba broke his right arm in a warm-up match against Japan on June 4 and underwent surgery. A special lightweight cast has been placed on his arm.

FIFA officials said the cast was examined by match referee Jorge Larrionda of Uruguay, and Portuguese team officials and has been approved. They needed to be satisfied that the cast does not pose a danger to other players for Drogba to get the go-ahead.

It is not known if Drogba, who scored 37 goals for Chelsea this season to lead the club to the Premier League and FA Cup titles, will play.

The soft cast is similar in design to the one sported by England striker Gary Lineker at the 1986 World Cup, when he was leading scorer with six goals.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.