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First thing to do is check the gear oil. You will need to remove the prop to do this.
Then inspect where the shift shaft goes thru the adapter plate. This is a tight area and if you are in salt water it is often overlooked when rinsing the motor off. The salt will gather there on the bushing making it harder and harder to shift until it just binds the shaft. To correct this you will need to clean the area and spray some lube like WD-40 in there to get it loosened up.