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Mets' Terry Collins: We’re going to stay out of the prediction business

Terry Collins, here at Citi Field on Sept.

Terry Collins, here at Citi Field on Sept. 22, 2016, has endured for more regular-season games than any Mets manager and is turning 68 next Saturday, May 27. Credit: Jim McIsaac

The Mets have gone from prognosticators to mimes.

Terry Collins on Thursday more fully explained why the Mets no longer are predicting returns for their injured players, expanding a bit on why he declined to give updates and timetables on a number of their hurt starters Wednesday. It comes down to the fact that they simply don’t know — at least not with 100 percent certainty.

“We get caught up sometimes of saying, ‘Oh, geez, Steven Matz needs two more.’ We don’t know if he needs one more, two more, three more,” he said. “It all changes. I get in trouble because I try to be as honest as I can with you guys . . . Then if it doesn’t happen, we look like idiots, but we’re not, because there’s no guarantees.”

On Wednesday, Collins said he wasn’t at liberty to discuss an apparent minor injury to Jay Bruce (who was in Thursday night’s lineup). Nor could he give a timetable on Yoenis Cespedes, who the Mets recently said was on the cusp of a return. He couldn’t say how many more rehab games Asdrubal Cabrera would need before he returned (none, it turns out; he was activated Thursday). All this, at the direction of the front office.

“You look at a date and you say, geez, he might be ready this date, but we’ve got to be very careful about putting timetables on stuff,” Collins said. “Does he need one more start? We really don’t know. The most important thing to understand is injuries occur but no one really knows when anyone is going to be ready . . . We’re going to try to stay away from predicting anything.”

Cabrera returns

Cabrera said he was “pretty close to 100 percent” Thursday afternoon after the Mets activated him from the 10-day disabled list. Cabrera, who had been out since May 14 with a sprained left thumb, played 10 innings of a doubleheader in a rehab game with Double-A Binghamton.

“I feel normal,” he said. “It doesn’t hurt. I just feel like there’s something there. It’s not a big deal. I feel really good. I feel like my thumb is ready to come back.”

The shortstop, who did not start Thursday night, came into the game hitting .257 with 14 RBIs in 33 games. He pinch hit in the eighth inning with the Mets trailing 3-2 and hit into an inning-ending double play.

DeGrom to start Friday night

Collins said Jacob deGrom, who originally was slated to pitch Thursday night but was pushed back because of the threatening weather forecast, will start Friday night. He added that he expects all starters after that to be pushed back a day, meaning the Mets likely will no longer require a spot starter on Saturday. It previously appeared that Josh Smoker would pitch then.

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