The fast bowler, who is in South Africa’s preliminary 15-man squad for the tournament, suffered a flare-up of his right shoulder after playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Chennai Super Kings on Sunday.
Steyn, South Africa’s leading wicket-taker in Test cricket, will return back to South Africa and be assessed by a shoulder specialist.
Dr Mohammed Moosajee, the Proteas’ team doctor said: “Dale felt discomfort after playing his second match at the tournament. Upon assessment and subsequent investigations, a flare-up of his right shoulder was confirmed.
“With the World Cup around the corner, it is our priority to get him back to full fitness before the squad departs on May 19th.”
Teams have till 23 May to make changes to their squad for the global marquee tournament. South Africa’s preparations for the tournament include a week-long training camp beginning on 12 May.
South Africa will take on hosts England in the first match of the competition on 30 May at The Oval.