When Cowboys center Travis Frederick says he can’t predict how long it will take him to get back on the field as he continues to fight Guillain-Barrre Syndrome, it seems to mean that he just doesn’t know.
Guillain-Barre is an autoimmune disease that affects the nervous system. Frederick was diagnosed with the condition after an extended period of trying to figure out what was causing some worrying symptoms. Frederick said he was experiencing numbness in his hands and feet and into one arm. After ruling out any spinal issues related to his neck, doctors finally landed on Guillain-Barre.
The Cowboys center said the diagnosis brought relief at finally identifying the problem. Furthermore, they caught the disease fairly early and Frederick said it is treatable and curable.
But that’s where the uncertainty comes in.
“When Coach Garrett tells you that this is a week-by-week thing, it really is,” Frederick said on Thursday. “I have some of the best doctors in the business working on this and they can’t even begin to predict how this is going to work. It really is a week-by-week thing. We’re going to see how the improvement continues and hopefully I’ll be able to get back there as soon as I can.”
It’s interesting, though, that the media continues to treat Frederick’s case as a long-term injury despite Frederick never using such descriptions. Even the Cowboys’ team website wrote the headline this week: “Long road left in front of Travis Frederick.”
Certainly, everyone involved with Frederick’s recovery is being deliberate and cautious. And even when he’s cleared to play, it could take him some time to get back in playing shape.
But the rhetoric is still confusing, especially considering how much surprise was expressed about Frederick being on the 53-man roster instead of injured reserve, which would keep him out until at least Week 8.
Keep in mind, Frederick is saying week-by-week. This week he said he still has numbness in his hands and feet. But, by definition, week-by-week means the prognosis could change next week, or the week after that. The Cowboys clearly put him on the 53-man roster because there’s at least a possibility he could be ready to return sometime in the next eight weeks.