Travis Frederick diagnosed with autoimmune disease

Former Wisconsin star center Travis Frederick reveals he has been diagnosed with Guillain-Barré Syndrome.

Former Badger star Travis Frederick is being forced to step away from football for an undetermined period of time.

Frederick, a former All-American center at Wisconsin and a Pro Bowler for the Dallas Cowboys, took to Twitter on Wednesday to share the news that he has been diagnosed with a rare medical condition.

It certainly is very encouraging that doctors caught the disease in its early stages, and Frederick’s optimism should also give fans hope that he will beat this and resume what had been shaping up to be a Hall of Fame career.

Just what is Guillain-Barré Syndrome? CBS News gave a nice summary:

Guillain-Barré Syndrome, sometimes called GBS, is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the nerves, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis. While most people eventually make a full recovery from GBS, others are left with permanent nerve damage. In rare instances GBS can lead to death.

The statistics are definitely on his side. According to Dr. Spencer Miller, a neurologist at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, an average of 80% of patients like Frederick who receive an early diagnosis and early treatment recover fully. In addition, Frederick obviously is in elite physical condition as a professional athlete, and that should also work in his favor throughout his treatment and recovery.

In Miller’s opinion, GBS should not threaten Frederick’s NFL career.

I should note that at this point, what’s obviously most important is Frederick’s life and well-being: there is more to life than football after all. That being said, as a fan of the game, I hope he gets back on the field soon, because there are few, if any, players that are better than Frederick at what he does.

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Wisconsin has a long and storied history of special offensive lineman, and Frederick is among the very best to ever wear the Cardinal and White.

The Sharon, Wisconsin native was a first-team All-American center as a junior in 2012, and he played a huge role in helping the Badgers reach consecutive Rose Bowls and Big Ten Championships. If you were to ask each member of Wisconsin’s prolific running back trio during that stretch, Montee Ball, James White, and Melvin Gordon would undoubtedly tell you how crucial Frederick’s play was to their success.

Following his junior season, Frederick was selected in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. All he has done since is dominate the professional ranks.

From the moment he stepped onto an NFL field, Frederick has been one of the very best offensive linemen in the league. He has been a Pro Bowl selection every season of his career besides his first and was named First Team All-Pro in 2016.

As the leader of a Dallas offensive line that has been one of the NFL’s best over the last few seasons, Frederick has been instrumental in the success of the Cowboys’ dynamic offense and of the team overall. The loss of his steady presence up front will make it considerably more difficult for the backfield of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot to put up the huge numbers they are capable of.

Again, it is too early to tell with any certainty when Frederick could possibly suit up again. According to one medical expert, the best-case scenario entails him missing the first few games or the first part of the season. However, Frederick’s absence could very well last much longer than that.

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Here’s to hoping this is nothing but a temporary setback for a fantastic football player and all-time Wisconsin Football great, who more importantly, also happens to be a husband and father.

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