FRISCO, Texas – If Travis Frederick’s recovery from Guillain-Barre syndrome continues on its current track, the Cowboys anticipate the four-time Pro Bowl center being ready to participate in the start of voluntary offseason program this spring, head coach Jason Garrett said Monday.
“I think it’s very positive,” Garrett said of Frederick’s long-term outlook after he missed the entire 2018 season due to the auto-immune illness that affects the nervous system.
“He’s gotten stronger and stronger. He’s worked very hard in the weight room to get himself back and we do anticipate him, if things continue the way they do, to be involved in our offseason program right from the get-go. Some of the things that were concerning to him have kind of gone away.
“I think he’s regaining his strength. I think he’s getting his conditioning is back. He’s worked very hard at it, and all the reports are very, very positive.”
Frederick was diagnosed with GBS in late August after dealing with stinger-like symptoms during training camp. He spent the season working with the Cowboys’ medical and athletic training staff.
Joe Looney filled in as the starting center for all 18 games, including playoffs. But Garrett praised Frederick, who hadn’t missed a start in his first five NFL seasons, for showing leadership and support to his teammates throughout the year.
“Travis was off the charts this year,” Garrett said. “Think about what he went through and how challenging a situation that was. It wasn’t a typical football injury, so that can take you aback a little bit, but he handled that really well.
“For him to immerse himself into our football team the way that he did, that’s such a positive impact on us. He was at every meeting, every walkthrough, every practice every single day. And he got his rehab and he got all the other stuff he needed to get done really on his own time.
“He had such a positive impact on the new guys that were playing – Connor Williams, Joe Looney, some of the other guys who had to play for us. He was such a stabilizing factor. And then we made that coaching change (on the offensive line) I think he helped Marc (Colombo) immensely. So his leadership and his dedication and his selflessness for our football team, I can’t overstate it.”
Frederick recently underwent clean-up shoulder surgery – a procedure totally separate from his GBS recovery – which seemed to further indicate that he’s building his way back toward a return.