manual transmission 1st and 2nd gears won't engage on 1996 Saturn SL1

Started out not going into 1st,now 2nd. All cables are ok will shift into 3rd,4th,5th,and reverse,with or without clutch engaged while car is off.Will go into 1st and 2nd if i put pressure on the stick and let out clutch a little while running,grinds but goes in. Itook off center console all bushings ok at both ends and at tranny. I took off the plate that sits on top of the tranny ,every thing seemed to be ok.Any thoughts? Thanks Jack

Asked by for the 1996 Saturn SL1
It sounds like the problem is internal in the transmission, synchromesh or shift fork issues. Perhaps drain the transmission oil into a clean drain pan and see if you have metal filings in the oil that comes out of the gearbox..