FRISCO, Texas — Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick is not sure when he will be able to play again as he deals with the repercussions of Guillain-Barre Syndrome, an autoimmune disease that affects the nervous system.
Frederick will remain on the Cowboys’ 53-man roster for now and miss the first games of his career, starting with Sunday’s season opener against the Carolina Panthers.
“It’s difficult for me personally. For a lot of guys in this locker room, you try to push through things,” Frederick said, speaking for the first time since the diagnosis. “When you’re injured, you try and get past it. This is something I can’t just will my way through. It’s a matter of the nerves not conducting properly and not working correctly. It’s going to require some patience and some great work from our rehab staff and our strength staff to be able to just continue push forward and take what my body gives me so I can continue to improve as those things come back and then I hopefully I can take that bigger jump.”
“This is something I can’t just will my way through. It’s a matter of the nerves not conducting properly and not working correctly.”
Frederick complained of stinger-type issues during training camp but was cleared by one of the top spine specialists in the country. When the symptoms did not subside, he received more tests and was diagnosed with GBS.
Frederick said it was caught early, but he continues to have some numbness in both arms. Before the diagnosis, he had numbness in his hands and feet before it moved to his arms. He has been able to begin lifting weights this week after doing some light training after leaving the hospital.
“I was very relieved to finally have an idea of what it was that was going on, because I was having some weird symptoms. All of a sudden I was really weak,” Frederick said. “After the diagnosis, they tell you what could happen in the future if you don’t get treated. I got treatment and things started to improve. That helped relieve some of that uneasiness there. It’s hard looking forward not knowing what’s coming as far as a recovery standpoint, when I can come back, but knowing that I will get back to 100 percent at some point is certainly relieving.”
Frederick is in the meetings and at practice. He will travel to the road games as well.
He said he has not thought about retirement.
“Right now my focus is getting back to being here and being able to play again,” Frederick said. “It’s a matter of time for that to happen, and unfortunately, I don’t know what that time is. I think as long as I continue to keep my eyes forward and continue to work toward that, we’re going to be in good shape.”