Matt Harvey put on a pair of jeans and a blue New York Rangers T-shirt. Shortly before 4 p.m. yesterday, with the rest of his teammates still in uniform, this was highly unusual.

It turns out the Mets ace was on the way to be checked out by doctors for a left ankle sprain he suffered in spring training.

"At the time, I really didn't think anything of it,'' said Harvey, who hurt the ankle when he hit the fence while shagging fly balls during batting practice.

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Nevertheless, Harvey will make his next scheduled start against the Yankees in the Bronx on Saturday.

Terry Collins said he gave Harvey the option of skipping the start. He responded with a look that made it clear he wasn't interested.

"It's uncomfortable, but it's nothing that's going to affect my pitching,'' said Harvey, who is 3-0 with a 3.50 ERA in his first three starts since returning from Tommy John surgery.

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The problem doesn't seem to have impacted Harvey's preparation, either. On Wednesday, before leaving Citi Field to be checked out, he threw a bullpen session.

For his start on Saturday, Harvey said he may tape the ankle, hoping to add more stability.