The flying right-back is expected to be out of action for around three months.
The Republic of Ireland international suffered a horrible injury in the Rams’ exciting 3-2 win against Wolverhampton Wanderers earlier this month, cracking a bone and tearing the cartilage in his foot after going in for a challenge.
Consequently, Christie was ruled out for up to three months but has already begun rehabilitation work with a protective boot, while making a January return his early New Year’s resolution.
“I’m looking at January at the moment. It is one of those that could be under that time by a few weeks or over by a few weeks too, so I won’t be rushing anything,” Christie told the club’s official website.
“I’ve not been injured in my time at Derby until now; I look after myself right, follow my diet and do stuff in the gym to keep myself going.
“I’ll work hard to get back to the level where I was before and improve on it. I’ll have to deal with being out and being spectator – but I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
Christie is currently undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy, a treatment designed to enhance the natural healing process to ensure that he can return to action earlier than expected to aid Derby’s climb up the Championship table.
The experienced Chris Baird filled in on the right side of defence in Saturday’s comfortable 3-0 cruise against Rotherham United, but Christie’s intensity in attack could prove to be a key weapon for McClaren in the second half of the campaign.
The 24-year-old admitted to dcfc.co.uk that the injury could hardly have occurred at a worse time as he was beginning to find his form after a difficult start to the season.