LaTroy Hawkins received a phone call from his brother recently that reminded him to appreciate the opportunity still in front of him.

“My brother said if he had my hands, he would cut his off,” the Mets reliever said yesterday. “I said, ‘Why would you do that?’ He said, ‘You’re 40 years old and you’re playing a kids’ game.’ He had a good point. You can’t beat that.”

Hawkins, who signed a minor league contract with the Mets during the offseason, has no guarantees. But in a muddled bullpen equation, the veteran right-hander could emerge as an option, with the added bonus for the Mets of using Hawkins to mentor the organization’s younger pitchers.

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Hawkins stands out for his chiseled frame, which is the envy of players half his age. Hawkins likes to boast his arm isn’t what it once was, but he can still run with just about anybody in camp.

“If I’m somebody in this camp, and I’ve got a guy that is 40 years old and has the body of a 22-year-old and still throws 94 [mph], I would be finding out what he does to stay in shape,” manager Terry Collins said.