Bony limped off in City’s 0-0 Barclays Premier League draw at Aston Villa on Sunday because of a hamstring injury, with Blues boss Manuel Pellegrini saying afterwards he did not think the 26-year-old would be able to play during this international break. And it was subsequently confirmed by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Wednesday that Bony would not be involved in the Elephants’ clashes with Liberia away on Friday and at home next Tuesday due to injury. That had also been the case on Tuesday, with it being understood the reason was not an injury but because he did a recovery session instead owing to the fact he had played only two days earlier. And Belgium boss Marc Wilmots said on Wednesday that Kompany was one of a group of players who were “following an individual programme of rehabilitation indoors”. He added: “What matters now is the mental and physical regeneration. “It’s important to recover as much as possible for the two (home friendly) games against Italy and Spain (on Friday and Tuesday respectively). That’s why they are rested.” Kompany’s fitness was a hot topic from the last international break, with Pellegrini expressing his unhappiness the defender had played for his country after missing five City games with a calf problem. Kompany played around an hour of Belgium’s 3-1 win over Israel on October 13 – then was an unused substitute for City four days later, and only got on in the dying seconds another four days after that, before being restored to the Blues first XI for the Manchester derby. Wilmots is making no apology for his handling of Kompany and stressed the decision about the run-out against Israel was made jointly by the coach and player. Wilmots said on Wednesday: “I think we did exactly what we had to do. “In this case a player and a manager had a conversation and agreed playing for 60 minutes would be the best preparation. Vincent agreed and we made the decision together. “His situation is that he is a top professional player of 30 years who knows exactly what he needs to do to be fit. I allow him to work how he wants. “Many players come here injured and return healthy and match fit. I don’t think we can do any better.” Another City player who will not feature in those matches is midfielder Yaya Toure – although he has declared he will be “ready” to rejoin the national team next year. Toure, who won the African Nations Cup with Ivory Coast in February, has not been part of the squad of late having wanted a rest, but it seems he is not about to retire from international football. Quoted on the CAF website, he said: “I think the next appointment after this (the Liberia games) will be in 2016 with the continuation of qualifying for the 2017 African Nations Cup. In any case, I’ll be ready.” Regarding his current absence, Toure said: “With all due respect to our new coach, Michel Dussuyer, I wanted to have a moment of respite. “I was coming back from a long period of intense activity with the Elephants and the end of an exhausting season with my club Manchester City. I even had injuries. “During the off-season I cut short my vacation in Abidjan to return to the club so I could be subject to a rigorous fitness programme. “I had to follow to the letter and strictly my physical preparation programme during this period under the supervision of private coaches. ” Meanwhile, City captain Vincent Kompany was once again not involved in full training with Belgium on Wednesday. Press Association Manchester City striker Wilfried Bony has been ruled out of Ivory Coast’s World Cup qualifying double-header against Liberia.
Haskins hosted the Dwayne Haskins Football Pro Camp at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Sunday with hundreds of grade-school football players from the area. He bounced from station to station and played with the campers as his highlights from 2018 replayed on a loop on the giant television on the complex’s wall. Haskins was in their shoes when he was a young football player. “You will forever have a home here as a ballplayer coming to this university,” Haskins told a group of reporters at the camp. “To be able to go the spring game and share that with my former teammates and people I look up to in the NFL, which now I’m a part of, is an unbelievable experience.”Where will Haskins find his next home? That is the big question now.NFL DRAFT BIG BOARD:Where Haskins ranks among 2019 QBs Haskins’ stock for the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft continues to fluctuate, and Sporting News’ latest mock draft has the quarterback going to Denver with the No. 10 pick. What about the pick after that?Cincinnati should consider this move for several reasons, one being that it competes in an AFC North battleground state. Haskins could be a counter to neighboring Cleveland.”It would be great to continue that Ohio connection, but I’m just looking forward to whatever (team) picks me,” Haskins said.Ken Broo, host of “Sunday Morning Sports Talk” on WLW-AM Radio in Cincinnati, gave two reasons why the Bengals should consider Haskins with the No. 11 pick: Haskins has the talent to be a successful NFL quarterback, and there is an economic appeal to the pick.”Every team, in my opinion, needs cost certainty,” Broo told SN. “Despite the cap, you have to have cost certainty. Look at these teams going with young quarterbacks because their rookie deals keep them under team control with cost certainty for five years.”MORE NFL DRAFT:Order of picks for Bengals, others in 2019The Bengals are a team in transition in 2019. Marvin Lewis is gone after a 16-year stint. Zac Taylor, one of the chic assistants off the Sean McVay tree, is the new coach. Quarterback Andy Dalton has two years left on his deal, but there is no dead-money cap hit if he is released. Broo calls it a state of “quarterback purgatory.””(Dalton) is not going to get you where they want to go, and he’s not going to get you beaten on a consistent basis because of a lack of skills,” Broo said. “He’s just there.”If Haskins is available to the Bengals, then, yes, it’s a pick worth considering. Cincinnati has not indicated that will happen. Taylor continues to throw support in Dalton’s direction. Linebacker has been a popular pick in mock drafts because of the departure of veteran Vontaze Burfict.When asked about Cincinnati, Haskins mentioned former Ohio State teammates Sam Hubbard and Billy Price. Hubbard, a third-round pick in 2018, emerged as a Cincinnati fan favorite with six sacks as a rookie. It adds up to another Ohio connection with which Haskins seems comfortable.”I haven’t talked to the Bengals since the (NFL) Combine, but the draft is so crazy, you never know what can happen,” he said. “If I go down the street, that would be awesome.” COLUMBUS, Ohio — Dwayne Haskins’ return to Ohio State last weekend proved he will always have a home in Ohio.Haskins, who finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting in 2018 after a record-setting season, attended the Ohio State spring game Saturday. He waved to the fans walking in the tunnel. He shadowed incoming quarterback Justin Fields. He locked arms with players and sang “Carmen Ohio” one more time, and he wasn’t done. If the Cardinals draft Kyler Murray with the No. 1 pick, then he will join Baker Mayfield (2018) and Sam Bradford (2010) as the third Oklahoma quarterback to be taken with the first pick this decade. By comparison, to find the last Big Ten quarterback drafted in the first round, one must rewind back to 1995, when the Panthers took Penn State’s Kerry Collins with the No. 5 overall pick.Haskins is in line to break that streak. ESPN NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay is surprised by the trend, but he does not see a correlation between conference and quarterback play. After all, former Big Ten quarterbacks Tom Brady and Drew Brees were not first-round picks.”There doesn’t seem to be a stigma out there if you want to play quarterback at a high level you don’t go to a Big Ten school,” McShay said. “It’s kind of been a coincidence.”Haskins, however, would have the pressure associated with a first-rounder. Broo cited two more perceptions that Haskins must disprove in the NFL.”He has a short resume with the one season, but they hired a head coach with virtually no resume,” Broo said. “The other reason I hesitate is the legend of Ohio State quarterbacks that have excelled at the NFL level is pretty short.”That second part is worth noting; the last Ohio State quarterback to be taken in the first round was Art Schlichter in 1982. The Buckeyes have had seven quarterbacks drafted since 1995: Bobby Hoying, Joe Germaine, Steve Bellisari, Craig Krenzel, Troy Smith, Terrelle Pryor and Cardale Jones. They have combined for 32 starts in the NFL.MORE NFL DRAFT:All-time worst regret for Bengals, othersHaskins posted better single-season passing numbers than any of those players at Ohio State. He set single-season Big Ten records for touchdown passes (50) and yards (4,831) in an offense enhanced by now-head coach Ryan Day, who had previous stops in the NFL with the Eagles and 49ers. That’s why this is different. Haskins is not a traditional Ohio State quarterback. He is the next in a new wave of quarterbacks.”Ryan Day has had a big role in developing Haskins and how quickly Haskins got to that high level with only 14 starts,” McShay said. “That will help Ohio State, and it can’t hurt the conference.”It can’t hurt the Bengals, either. If not now at QB for Cincinnati, then when?Consider the competition in the AFC North. Pittsburgh is already having to think about life after Ben Roethlisberger, and Baltimore has started a new era with Lamar Jackson.Cincinnati should look at Cleveland as an example of what a new look can provide. The Browns drafted Mayfield, picked up Odell Beckham Jr. in a blockbuster offseason trade and gave first-year coach Freddie Kitchens more than enough talent with which to work. Now Cleveland is a popular pick to win the division. Broo noted that Bengals owner Mike Brown is not going to make draft picks based on what the Browns are doing, but it is fair for Cincinnati to ask the same questions Cleveland did after going 0-16 in 2017.”All of this comes down to ‘Where are you in two years?'” Broo said.Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green will be a free agent in 2020. Running back Joe Mixon will follow in 2021. Haskins could be a player who gives those playmakers an incentive to stay, especially if he flourishes in Taylor’s new scheme. This worked for another franchise that played in the AFC championship game last season and took eventual Super Bowl champion New England to overtime.”I’m not sure the best blueprint for this team isn’t what Kansas City did two years ago with Patrick Mahomes,” Broo said. “They drafted him and rode with Alex Smith for a year. After that year, when they needed that group to win right now, they went with Mahomes. Maybe you do the same thing here with Haskins.”MORE NFL DRAFT:Ranking first-round QBs since 2000Haskins has the skill set to be a successful NFL quarterback for years to come, one who can break those Big Ten and Ohio State stereotypes. He would give the Bengals a long-term plan at quarterback and excite a fan base that would welcome the kind of buzz that’s now in Cleveland.Haskins already occupies the middle ground of the state in Central Ohio, where Browns and Bengals fans spend most Sundays arguing over which team gets televised when both are playing in the same time slot.Right now, Cleveland is must-see TV. Haskins with the Bengals would throw a wrench into that, especially in Columbus. If Haskins is the Ohio State quarterback who finally breaks through, then Cincinnati would have a counter to Cleveland for the next five years. That cost certainty would be there, too.Haskins would have another home in Ohio. He will always have that in Columbus, which was reaffirmed over the weekend.Haskins closed the weekend by telling campers the last year “was a dream come true,” and he can’t wait to see what comes next. Haskins said he will watch the NFL Draft with family, and he does not seem too concerned about when his name will be called. “All my friends in the NFL say it doesn’t matter how early you go, it’s where you go. I don’t care if I go first or I go 32,” Haskins said. “I just want to go to a place where the guys are going to develop me, have great people around me and be at a great organization. That’s a lot of teams. There are a lot of possibilities.”Cincinnati can be one of those places, too.If Haskins is there at No. 11, there is no reason for the Bengals not to make the pick. A franchise that understands its surroundings makes this move.