He proved a point about his fitness and his state of mind with the clay court season just around the corner.
In saying that, I am glad he has decided not to take further risks by withdrawing from Miami this week.
Of the two tournaments - Indian Wells and Miami - he probably chose the right one to play.
Everything about Indian Wells helped Rafa, and he responded to the moment. The conditions were ideal for him and the ball was up high for him to hammer it.
I don't think anybody expected Rafa to be as good as he was. That was the most striking feature of his success. He didn't seem to be suffering too much.
The left knee has been the problem, but there was rarely a sign of that causing any discomfort.
While Rafa revelled in his 22nd Masters title, Roger Federer is obviously not right. I don't want to make too much of a thing about this - I perhaps overstated the situation concerning Rafa's knee before he played on hard courts at Indian Wells - but Federer's back is clearly an ongoing problem, and something he is having to manage.
Maybe it is less manageable than it was - that is what I was sensing at Indian Wells. There is a question mark looming there: Roger has never given much away about his training regime.
He always wears this warming shirt for the back. It has been a problem for him for at least a year. But how severe is it? Only he knows.
I am wary of making predictions regarding medical conditions after I got Rafa wrong: I thought it was a mistake for him to go to Indian Wells, but it clearly wasn't.
Now the Spaniard can rest and practise on clay. He looks almost a certainty to win the French Open. Unless there is a repercussion of the knee problem, you wouldn't look to anybody else.
There will be a lot of attractive odds on other players.
It will be interesting to see how Andy Murray does on the clay this summer. He has gradually improved on the surface he trained on as a kid, and must hope to make more of an impact.
I think Juan Martin del Potro has come into the mix as the fifth player who can challenge the established order while David Ferrer has perhaps predictably tailed off a bit so far this year having overachieved over the past few seasons.
In saying that, it remains a source of amusement how the women's game is derided with critics wondering what state the game is in when Serena Williams comes back from months off to win a tournament, and now Rafa has done exactly the same.
So what does that say about the men's game?
Of course, Federer was injured and Rafa didn't have to play Novak Djokovic or Murray, but it was an achievement of some note to come back on a surface that is not his best to win so soon.
Rafa doesn't look like he is going to have to scurry away clutching that left knee any time soon.
That can only make for an exciting summer ahead with the very best giving of their very best at the biggest tournaments. Let's hope Roger's back problem sorts itself out.
Sharapova success - but Serena Williams should master this season's Slams
It was a pleasant experience for Maria Sharapova in winning the women's title in Indian Wells, but Caroline Wozniacki was always unlikely to trouble her in the final.
Wozniacki is playing a bit better in recent times, but she can't really hurt the top women when they are at the top of their form.
When Sharapova doesn't feel threatened by an opponent, she can relax and let her powerful hitting do the talking.
The only problem for Sharapova is the erratic nature of her serve, but that held up well throughout the tournament and she looked in very good form.
Despite that success, I don't think she is going to trouble Serena Williams if the American player's head is right. Serena remains comfortably the best in the world, but there is not much between Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka.
Azarenka is probably second behind Serena, but is not that much ahead of Sharapova.
It is all about Grand Slams for those three now, but I would make Serena favourite to win the French Open if she is in the mood.
Of course, she is always liable to throw in the odd shocking performance like losing to Sloane Stephens in the Australian Open quarter-finals - but Azarenka and Sharapova must continue to go about their business and hope for that type of performance from Williams to boost their hopes.
Despite winning 15 Grand Slams, Serena sometimes falls asleep during matches then panics. That happens to some players when they get older. They think they can manage those moments, but are instead governed by them.
When something goes wrong in a Grand Slam, Serena can go from super confident to panic mode - and self-doubt suddenly creeps in.
Stephens is nowhere near the player Williams is and it was a similar situation against Virginie Razzano in the first round of Roland Garros last year when Serena panicked for no apparent reason.
If her head is in the right place and she is fit, which she has been, Serena starts a strong favourite in all of the big tournaments this season.