DENVER — Long Island’s Steven Matz could return to the rotation just in time to help the Mets in a three-game series against their bitter National League East rivals, the Nationals.

Matz will miss his start Saturday after complaining of tightness in his left elbow and forearm. He’s scheduled to be examined by doctors in New York on Monday, though the Mets appear encouraged about his condition.

Matz was not immediately sent to New York for tests and he played long toss Thursday.

“We could bring him back if he’s OK to go,” said manager Terry Collins, who left open the possibility of slotting Matz back into the rotation before what would be his next scheduled turn.

With a scheduled day off Monday, the Mets could shuffle the deck so that Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Matz could be lined up to face the Nationals, who began Friday tied with the Mets for first place.

No decision will be made until Matz’s status is determined by his follow-up exam Monday. The Mets need to see the lefty complete a bullpen session, which likely won’t happen until he’s cleared by doctors.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Said Collins: “He’s not going to get carried away doing it until he sees the doctor.”

For now, with Matz’s status uncertain, the Mets are playing a position player short so they can carry an extra arm at hitter-friendly Coors Field. It’s possible they add another position player after the weekend.

“We’ll have to wait and see what transpires this weekend, where we are, how much pitching we’ve got to use, where we’re sitting,” Collins said. “We’ll determine that on Sunday.”

Still left out

The Mets faced three lefties earlier this week against the Dodgers, their first real chance to truly test their lineup against southpaws.

Mets videos

The verdict? Collins needs to see better.

“We’ve got to get those guys to get it going,” he said.

Against lefthanders, the Mets rank in the bottom third of the NL in nearly every major offensive category.