What is Guillain-Barré Syndrome?
Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick missed all of last season after being diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome in training camp.
He is participating in the team’s off-season program with hopes of being fully cleared to return by the start of training camp.
It’s been a long, arduous and emotional road back that includes questions about possible multiple sclerosis and polio before he was finally diagnosed with the rare auto-immune disease that initially stumped his doctors and had the former Pro Bowler wondering if he would ever play again.
Frederick, who is also recovering from shoulder and hernia surgeries, will be limited in OTA’s and minicamp to protect himself. He said he won’t know for sure about 2019 until he takes real reps in training camp.
Per the Mayo Clinic, Guillain-Barre is a rare disorder in which your body’s immune system attacks your nerves. Weakness and tingling in your extremities are usually the first symptoms. These sensations can quickly spread, eventually paralyzing your whole body.
Following the 105.3 The Fan Mudbug Bash in Arlington on Saturday, he offered an update on his recovery and comeback.
How is the off-season program going?
“I have been working out with the team. We eased kind of back into that to make sure that everything’s healthy and stable before we start going heavy, but as far as on-the-field stuff, I’m doing almost everything. We’ll have some stuff modified in OTAs, but most of that is for the shoulder. You don’t want to re-injure something while it’s coming back from the surgery. But as far as on the field, I feel good, and in the weight room in my other auxiliary lifts, I’m doing really well there as well. So for the most part, I feel really good. We won’t know until I get out there and put the pads on and take my first rep whether or not it’s going to go well.”
Where are you with the Guillain-Barre Syndrome?
”I feel good about where I am at. It’s hard to judge percentage where you are at because the only thing we have to judge off of is strength numbers. We haven’t been able to get to the strength numbers because I am not benching. I don’t have a bench standard and I am not squatting. I am rebounding from hernia surgery as well so I am still easing back in after that.”
Had you ever heard of this illness?
”I had never heard of it. Neither did most people, not even the doctors. The neurosurgeon had only seen it twice. He is one of the top neurosurgeons in the country. When you have something that rare, that’s when you know there is something going on. That is why it took a little bit for the diagnosis. It’s hard. There are a lot of things it could have been leading up to it. I give a lot of credit to our training staff. They kept on it. They kept trying to figure something out.”
Did it shock you that the doctors and noted spine specialist Dr. Robert Watkins had little knowledge of Guillain Barre-Syndrome?
”That was the most worrisome part. I went to the specialist and he was supposedly the best and he told me my neck was fine. I was having issues with stingers but it wasn’t because of my neck, which is what causes stringers. At that point, it’s ringing all the bells. There is something going on here that needs to be addressed.”
What did they think it was or could be?
When did know something was wrong? Was it when DT Antwaun Woods got the best of you?