2000 Subaru Forester oil filter adapter

The threads on the oil filter adapter got damaged at the last oil change (3 months ago) - there was probably a burr or something in the threads of the oil filter. When I ran the filter up by hand I felt a slight resistance, but not enough to make me back the filter off and look in the threads.

I just change the oil a week ago, and could see the threads on the adapter were damaged. The new oil filter threaded on but there was definitely some resistance.

My question is this: Can the adapter be changed without major engine work? It looks like there’s a hex nut at the top of the adapter nipple. I can’t tell the adapter threads into the engine and the nut acts like a locknut, or something else.

I’ve always used Fram filters, so I was surprised that there might have been crud or a metal chip in the filter threads.