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Thai youth soccer team meets with the media

Members of the rescued soccer team and their coach sit during a press conference discussing their ordeal in the cave in Chiang Rai, northern Thailand, Wednesday, July 18, 2018. The 12 boys and their soccer coach rescued after being trapped in a flooded cave in northern Thailand are recovering well and are eager to eat their favorite comfort foods after their expected discharge from a hospital soon. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

UPDATE: Wednesday - 7:00 a.m.

CHIANG RAI, Thailand (AP) — The 12 boys and their soccer coach who were rescued from a cave in northern Thailand have appeared at a news conference, entering to applause from the media and classmates.

Note: This is a live feed and may be subject to breaks in coverage. This event is expected to begin at 7 a.m.

The boys put on a quick demonstration of their ball-handling skills in a special miniature soccer field set up in the hall where they are meeting the media on Wednesday.

They then hugged their friends before taking seats up front with doctors and others who helped them during their ordeal.

Doctors took the first two questions, and said the 13 were healthy in body and mind. Doctors said the boys gained around 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) on average since they were rescued from the cave last week. They were said to have lost an average of 4 kilograms (9 pounds) during the more than two weeks they were trapped in the cave.

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CHIANG RAI, Thailand (AP) — The youth soccer teammates rescued after 18 days trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand are expected to be released from the hospital Wednesday and to speak about their ordeal.

A news conference with the 12 boys and their coach was being arranged for the evening in the northern city of Chiang Rai, where the boys have been recovering in a hospital since last week. A conference hall that was being prepared as the venue for the news conference was decorated as a soccer field.

Government spokesman Lt. Gen. Sansern Kaewkamnerd said doctors, social workers and psychologists would participate in the news conference to filter questions and ensure the boys' well-being. The media will not be allowed to interview the boys after the news conference.

The Wild Boars teammates had entered the Tham Luang cave on June 23 for a quick, relaxing excursion after soccer practice. But rain began falling while they were underground, and the water filled the caverns, cutting off their escape.

Divers found the group huddling on a spot of dry ground deep inside the cave 10 days later, hungry but generally healthy. An international team of rescuers using diving equipment and pulleys extracted the 12 boys and coach through the tight, flooded passageways over three days, concluding July 10.

Some of the boys were treated for minor infections during their hospital stay, but all 13 have been described as recovering well.

The family of one of the boys was preparing their home for his return Wednesday night.

Banphot Konkum, an uncle who has raised 13-year-old Duangpetch Promthep, said he'll have a renovated bedroom and gifts awaiting him.

"We'll do whatever he wants. If he wants anything we'll buy it for him as a present as we promised that when he gets out, whatever he wants we'll do it for him," Banphot said.

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