George Zimmerman makes his first appearance on second degree murder charges in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in courtroom J2 at the Seminole County Correctional Facility in Sanford.

A Florida neighbourhood watch volunteer sustained two black eyes and a fracture of his nose the night he shot dead unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin, doctor's records show, US media reported on Wednesday.

George Zimmerman is believed to have got into a scuffle with Martin, 17, on February 26, when the teenager was fatally shot while returning home from a store after buying iced tea and candy.

A medical report by a family physician diagnosed a “closed fracture” of Zimmerman's nose, a pair of black eyes, two lacerations to the back of his head and a minor back injury the next day, a local ABC television affiliate said.

Zimmerman had consulted the doctor to get legal clearance to return to work, it added.

The medical notes may bolster Zimmerman's claim that he acted in self-defence because he was being attacked by Martin.

But the doctor's records might also be irrelevant, since the prosecution contends that Zimmerman instigated the confrontation after racially profiling the teen, who they say was breaking no laws and disturbing no one when allegedly accosted by Zimmerman.

Zimmerman, whose father is white and whose mother is Peruvian, has pleaded not guilty in a Florida court to second degree murder charges.

He was granted a $150 000 bail and has been in hiding since being released from prison last month pending trial.

The racially-charged case has attracted national attention, including protests led by civil rights leaders, because police initially decided not to press charges, amid Zimmerman's claims that he shot Martin in self-defence. - Sapa-AFP