Having trouble re-installing fork on an F500.

Tough to get it back in with the lower bearing stuck on steerer tube.

All stuff I have found online say to 'tap it back in' but it will not get past the lower cup.

I have a monster headset press, and pressed in the upper easily enough, and could do the same with the lower? But then it seems it would be tough to re-insert the steerer, as the snug fit would mean wrestling the steerer back in, and we are back to "mallet therapy"

I don't work on too many Cannondales, especially front ends...ideas?