Five soldiers who were captured last month in Iraq were released from an Army medical center Wednesday and were expected to begin their 30-day convalescent leave in several days.

The soldiers returned to their units. Before they can begin their leaves, they need to have paperwork signed by their commander, said Fort Bliss spokeswoman Jean Offutt.

Col. Glenn W. Mitchell, the medical center commander, said the soldiers will be monitored for their physical and psychological health in the coming months.

He said Spc. Shoshana Johnson, who was shot in both ankles, is healing well, but declined to discuss specific injuries of the other former prisoners of war. The members of the 507th Maintenance Company were captured on March 23 near Nasiriyah, Iraq.

Besides Johnson, 30, of El Paso, the other soldiers are Spc. Joseph Hudson, 23, Alamogordo, N.M.; Spc. Edgar Hernandez, 21, Mission; Pfc. Patrick Miller, 23, Park City, Kan.; and Sgt. James J. Riley, 31, Pennsauken, N.J.

The 30 days off won't be charged against the soldiers' annual 30-day leave and they are able to ask for extensions, Offutt said.