By Kim Hagdorn and SportsNewsFirst

Tough Fremantle defender Alex Silvagni will be sidelined for at least another fortnight as he recovers from a serious leg infection.

Silvagni, 23, suffered an adverse reaction to a steroid injection in a strained thigh muscle and was forced to miss the start of the 2011 season when the Dockers survived a brave Brisbane to win by two points at the Gabba.

Silvagni spent four days in a Perth hospital on an intravenous antibiotics drip leading into the AFL season opener and was only released last Friday.

He is still on a drip at his home in Perth’s southern suburbs.

The strongly built versatile back man initially had an injection into his leg in a bid to hasten his recovery.

It is understood that the leg became infected, prompting his admission to hospital for a course of strong antibiotics.

Fremantle originally reported that Silvagni had suffered a stomach infection.

He will take at least another fortnight to recover and return to action.

It appears most likely Silvagni will resume in time for Fremantle’s back-to-back home games against North Melbourne in Round 4 or the Western Bulldogs on Anzac Day a week later.

Silvagni was a first-season star last year after he was a surprise mature age rookie selection along with midfield revelation Michael Barlow when they were both plucked from the VFL competition.

Silvagni is considered a vital cog in Fremantle’s defensive division alongside veteran pair Luke McPharlin and Antoni Grover with the departure of Chris Tarrant back to Collingwood.

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