Germany boss Joachim Low has pointed out that captain Schweinsteiger will not be used often in coming years for Germany.
The midfielder has been criticized for his lack of mobility and agility with United, completing a full match for the first time on Sunday, when united lost to Swansea.
Low is convinced Schweinsteiger is important to the national team, but to keep him at 100%, he won’t start the ageing midfielder in every match.
“Maybe I no longer need Bastian in every match now,” Low told Suddeutsche Zeitung.
“I need him when it is important for us. Then I know that he performs and assumes responsibility and his will to win is like no other.”
Germany are in the midst of Euro 2016 qualifying and take on Poland on Friday before facing Scotland three days later, but Low says he is just as focused on plotting how he can defend his nation’s World Cup title.
“The European Championships in France is for us a great goal but our thoughts go already beyond in all plans,” he continued. “We have the 2018 World Cup in mind – Mission: Title Defence.”
On the subject of Germany’s upcoming games, he added: “The decisive factor for me is that we can be on our own as leaders.
“The goal is to win both games. I know many players of my team for many years and I know that, in games like against Poland, they are motivated to the tips of their hair.”