Former Germany international Lothar Matthaus has retracted his recent criticism of Mario Gotze after the Germany international was diagnosed with "metabolic disorders" that will keep him out of action for an indeterminate period.
Matthaus recently claimed Gotze might have no other option but to move to China next after an underwhelming start to his second spell with Borussia Dortmund.
The attacking midfielder has struggled to secure regular first-team action at Signal Iduna Park following his return to his boyhood club after three years at Bayern Munich.
But Matthaus now believes his criticism might have been harsh in the wake of the latest developments regarding Gotze's health.
"This comes as a big blow," Matthaus told reporters.
"But the good thing is that we now know the reason behind his difficulties and that he can get the treatment he needs.
"Bearing all this in mind, we should obviously be judging his performances differently than what we did before..."
Gotze has scored just twice in 16 appearances in all competitions for BVB in 2016-17.