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Penrith coach Matt Elliott says returning forward Matt Adamson will likely have to work his way back through the Panthers reserves if he wants to play football again.

Panthers assistant coach Adamson has been in full training with the club's first grade side for the past two weeks in a shock bid to return to the NRL playing ranks. The bottom-placed Panthers registered the 34-year-old, who last played for Canberra in 2005, with the NRL last week on a match payment-based playing contract.

Elliott says he will wait and see how Adamson performs in training, but adds if the former Origin and Test backrower is to return to the field it will likely be in Premier League first.

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