Yes, next season. He and Nole are the clear best two players in tennis in terms of general level. With nothing to defend after Roland Garros, being mentally rested, 2013 is shaping up to be a beautiful one for Rafa.
Don't tell me you're another one of those "Nothing to defend"-guys. Having nothing to defend is only an advantage if you're on about equal standing to start with. This is not the case here. Nadal will have to defend all his points before he gets to the part of the season where his point count might improve. And even if he gets to defend his present points - don't forget he was behind in the race after Wimbledon this year. He will never be expected to be #1 on the strength of a great fall season, he needs to be solidly in the lead after the clay part of the season is done, and he failed to do this in 2012 even before his injury.