Bayern Munich explain Mario Gotze absence: 'It's not time for experiments'

Mario Gotze has yet to feature for Bayern Munich since returning from injury earlier this month, with sporting executive Matthias Sammer saying: "It's not the time for experiments."

Gotze, who sustained a groin injury in early October, has been an unused substitute in Bayern's last three matches after returning to fitness.

Bayern boss Pep Guardiola said the Germany international, whose long-term future at the club is in doubt, had not featured simply because he was behind the likes of Thomas Muller, Arjen Robben, Douglas Costa, Franck Ribery, Kingsley Coman and Thiago Alcantara in the pecking order.

"We've got seven wingers. When I don't play Muller or someone else you will ask me about this," Guardiola told reporters after the 2-0 win at Wolfsburg. "It's my decision. That's all."

Sammer backed Guardiola's decision, saying that while "Mario has trained well" he still "lacks rhythm."

He added: "Other players like Franck Ribery, Kingsley Coman or Thiago Alcantara are just one step ahead of him. It's not the time for experiments."

Gotze is under contract at Bayern until 2017, and the 23-year-old, once considered one of world football's brightest prospects, has previously suggested he could move on in the summer.

The attacking midfielder said last month that "everything is still open" and that "it all depends on the plans of the club and the new coach," with Carlo Ancelotti due to replace Guardiola at the end of the season.

Sammer has said Bayern will assess the situation and "make a decision" in the summer.

Bayern captain Philipp Lahm remains confident Gotze will soon get back on track.

"I do not worry about Mario because he is an outstanding footballer," the former Germany international said. "He's very professional. It's only a matter of time until he plays again."