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.

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.