In between throwing out jokes about the Mets’ noninterest in signing Tim Tebow, general manager Sandy Alderson on Tuesday gave updates on the team’s injured players.

The news was good on Yoenis Cespedes and Zack Wheeler and not so good on Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera.

Cespedes took batting practice on Tuesday in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Alderson said he hopes Cespedes will be ready to return from his right quad injury when he is eligible to come off the disabled list on Aug. 19.

“I’m hopeful Cespedes will be ready when his time expires,” Alderson said. “But we’ll have to see.”

Alderson said he thought Cespedes would probably need a short minor-league rehab assignment.

Wheeler will likely make his second rehab start from Tommy John surgery on Thursday at Bradenton, Florida. He is expected to throw 40 pitches.

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Reyes (left oblique strain), whom the Mets hoped could begin a rehab assignment on Tuesday, “is still having a little bit of tenderness swinging from the right side,” Alderson said.

Cabrera (strained left patella tendon) has just started hitting off a tee and is not close to returning.

“That’s coming a little slower than we expected or that we would like,” Alderson said. “But it is what it is.”

On Tebow, Alderson quipped: “Are you insinuating that we need a Hail Mary?”

It seems unlikely the Mets will sign the former Heisman Trophy winner.

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Logan Verrett, who was roughed up for six runs in 3 2⁄3 innings in Detroit in his last outing, will keep his rotation spot and start against the Padres on Friday night.

“We did all the investigation,” manager Terry Collins said. “We think he’s the best matchup for San Diego right now.”

The Mets had considered using Jon Niese or minor-leaguers Rafael Montero or Gabriel Ynoa . . . After the game, the Mets sent Brandon Nimmo to Triple-A Las Vegas. They will call up T.J. Rivera from Las Vegas.