FRISCO, Texas -- With only four weeks remaining, Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick admits it is a long shot that he will play at all this season but the four-time Pro Bowler believes he will be able to return in 2019.
"I feel very good about being able to play next year," said Frederick, who was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, an autoimmune disease that affects the nervous system, in August at the end of training camp. "We don't know what the top end (of recovery) is going to be. There could be something lingering or permanent damage that we don't know about, but based on the tests and the things we've seen we don't think there is (damage to the actual nerves)."
Frederick struggled during training camp and was diagnosed initially with stingers, but after that was ruled out by a specialist and he did not see any improvement, he had more testing that revealed he had Guillain-Barre.
He said he no longer has numbness in his fingers and feet and he is moving much better than he was earlier in the season.
"I feel good about it based on the information I have and the trajectory I'm at now and hoping to have a full offseason," Frederick said. "Hopefully I'll be back at full strength by the end of the year or within the month, so when I'd normally lift again I'd be back at it full and take that full offseason to continue to improve."
Frederick, who had not missed a game in his career before this season, said he overworked early in his rehab that led to him struggling to walk, with the muscles around his hips deteriorating. After changing the workout regimen, Frederick said he started to feel marked improvement around the Cowboys' bye week in October.
He is jogging but has not started full-out sprinting and change of direction yet.
Longtime offensive lineman Mark Schlereth, a former ESPN analyst, battled through Guillain-Barre and said it took more than 12 months to feel fully recovered.
"It's not just being out there playing," Frederick said. "I need to be able to play at a level I expect myself to be able to play to and what the team expects me to be able to play to."