Yoenis Cespedes, still bothered by a strained right quad, was not in the starting lineup for Thursday afternoon’s game with the Rockies at Citi Field.

Cespedes pinch hit in the seventh inning and was intentionally walked. Pitcher Steven Matz pinch ran for him.

Cespedes homered Wednesday against the Cardinals in a 5-4 loss but told manager Terry Collins after the game that he was in pain.

“He came in and said it was starting to bother him pretty bad,’’ Collins said. “He said `hey, my leg’s pretty sore tonight.’”

Asked if Cespedes could be sidelined more than one game, Collins said, “It could stretch, I don’t know.’’

The Mets moved Cespedes from centerfield to left because of the injury, which he sustained July 8.

“Trying to keep him from running too much,’’ Collins said. “We’ve got some games coming up [next week] where we’ve got the DH we can get him off his feet in the outfield during those games.’’

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Alejandro De Aza replaced Cespedes in left.

Cespedes has 22 homers and 58 runs batted in.

“He’s a big piece,’’ Collins said. “He’s a huge piece. You look at what he’s done. Take those home runs and those RBIs out of the middle of our lineup and it’s tough to replace it.’’

With the Mets’ ongoing injury issues, Collins was asked if the Mets need some help as the Aug. 1 non-waiver deadline approaches.

“That’s not my territory,’’ he said. “I am not the kind of a guy or manager that I’ve ever gone to the general manager and said `hey we need help.’ [Sandy Alderson’s] got a very, very good feel for our team and what’s going on. He’s the best in the business at making the right moves at the right time. All I can tell you is we can’t lose Yoenis Cespedes for a long period of time.’’

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Alderson was not available before the game.