Germany blew a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Argentina in their international friendly in Dortmund on Wednesday.
The Argentines almost won it late on when there was a goalmouth scramble, but Emre Can cleared the danger.
Germany’s weak second half came with Sunday’s 2022 World Cup qualifier against Estonia in mind.
Gnabry, who has scored 10 goals in his past 11 internationals, was substituted by boss Joachim Low in the 72nd minute at 2-1 up.
“We didn’t want Serge Gnabry playing for 90 minutes,” Low said post-game.
“He has also played a lot of games lately. He went very fast and covered a lot of ground.
“Serge showed up almost everywhere, was always very dangerous and made the Argentina defence insecure in the first half.
“That’s why it was clear from the outset that we would take him off the pitch after 70 minutes.
“We definitely need him in the next games, and the risk was too big for me that he could still injure himself there.”