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Roy Carroll hopes his Northern Ireland goalkeeping rival Lee Camp will make himself available for selection again as soon as possible.
Nottingham Forest's Camp pulled out of the squad midway through last month's World Cup qualifying double-header against Russia and Luxembourg citing personal reasons.
The timing was interesting to say the least, Camp having just been dropped for the returning Carroll for Michael O'Neill's first competitive fixture.
O'Neill has said he does not know when or if Camp will return to the fold but, far from relishing his undisputed number one status, Carroll is eager for him to come back.
The Olympiacos player has some experience of missing out having not played for his country for six years before being restored by O'Neill - initially by his own decision, then falling out of favour under Nigel Worthington.
Asked for his views on Camp's absence for the match against Portugal on Tuesday night, Carroll said: "I don't know how long he is going to take a break for and I hope he comes back as soon as possible.
"I liked the fight for number one, me and Maik Taylor did it for a number of years and I think we liked the competition.
"I have been in two squads with Lee before and he is a quality keeper.
"He spoke to me and said he had to go home, because he has family things to see to, and said he was sorry to go.
"I said he should sort himself out, but he should come back as soon as he can.
"He is a good lad, is still young as a goalkeeper. I know what it is like, I was out for six years so I told him he can't leave it as long as I did, he has to come back as soon as possible and get more caps."