Cavani picked up a calf problem in Uruguay's 2-1 win over Portugal in the last-16 stage of the World Cup last weekend, and lost his race to be fit for the France clash, which the South Americans lost 2-0.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward has insisted that Uruguay boss Oscar Tabarez was right to leave him out of the matchday squad for the quarter-final as he was simply not ready to play.
"It was a very special week with a lot of expectation and I tried everything to be ready," Cavani told reporters. "I tried to do my best, but I was not 100%.
"But we have to be realistic, I did not feel for enough to play the 90 minutes, so it is best that your teammates, who are better, play."
Uruguay had won all four of their matches at this year's World Cup before losing to France.